Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Goings On In Borrego...


Last updated 10/6/2020 at 12:14pm

Borrego Springs has been hit with multiple incidents in the past couple of weeks with a stolen car, two accidents and property damage.


- On Sept. 25, deputies arrested a suspected car thief after a high-speed chase and foot pursuit.

Ernest Bartocci, 45, was identified by authorities of stealing a Silver Honda Pilot near the intersection of Palm Canyon Drive and Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs.

A Facebook post stated that the car belonged to Carlee’s owner Andy Macuga. Residents from Borrego Springs and Julian assisted in the recovery. The post also noted that the Mirage Gas Station had cameras to aid in pursuit.

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer spotted the Pilot and conducted a traffic stop near the area of Banner Grade and Wynola Road in Julian. The officer identified Bartocci as the driver, but the suspect fled the scene in the stolen vehicle at a high rate of speed. Shortly after, a Sheriff’s Rural Deputy saw him in the stolen vehicle near Wynola and Highway 78 and attempted to stop him.

Bartocci fled again, and managed to lose the deputies after driving through narrow and rural roads at a fast speed.

The next time Bartocci was spotted, it was by residents near Pine Hills Road and Highway 78. As the suspect attempted to hide the stolen vehicle behind buildings, they reported the suspicious activity. A deputy then located the vehicle and found Bartocci walking among houses in the area. They said he ran from deputies, but they ultimately took him into custody without incident.


- A suspected street race ended with two cars colliding head-on at Montezuma Valley Road Sept. 21.

Units were called to the scene a little before 8:30 p.m. Upon their arrival, the occupants appeared to be outside of the rolled over vehicle, with one occupant reported to have suffered minor injuries and bleeding.

The grade was closed from mile marker 5 and 17 for about six hours.

The names of those involved have not been released.


- A black Mercedes Benz was involved in a single-car crash on Sept. 21 at the intersection of Deep Well and Borrego Spring Road, in front of the American Legion Post #853.

Witnesses recall that an ambulance was called to the scene and persons involved were life flighted by Mercy Air.

County crews were at the location the next day on Sept. 22 to clean up debris, while repairing the road sign. It is unclear if speed, drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.


- Authorities are searching for the persons responsible for the damage done at Christmas Circle.

It was reported that the driver of a newer-model black Chevy truck tore through the grass, making grooves through the Circle before crashing into a tree.

Multiple people said they heard the loud crash, and witnessed the truck leaving the scene.

It is unclear how or why this occurred, and if speed or alcohol were factors in this incident.

It is not known who the person is or if a report was filed for damage to the grass.

- There have also been multiple reports of persons doing donuts at multiple locations in Borrego Springs, including various intersections, but mostly at the Circle.

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