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CHP Highlights Its Top Five Stories Of The Week

A roundup of notable incidents involving the CHP this past week focuses on a $218k retail theft bust, eagle-eye justice, an impressive return to duty, more than three decades of El Protector, and a “paws” for applause.


Massive Retail Theft Bust

A joint task force made up of officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Los Angeles Police Department arrested 10 suspects in connection with a massive retail theft operation. The arrests were made after investigators discovered more than $218,000 in stolen retail merchandise in the backyard of a Los Angeles residence.


Air Operations Unit Soars

The CHP Inland Division Air Operations Unit used their airplane, Air-81, to help Barstow Police Department catch a suspect wanted in connection with murder and vehicle theft. On Saturday, Sept. 23, Air-81 spotted the suspect from high above after ground units located the abandoned stolen vehicle on Route 66 near Amboy, California. The suspect was detained by officers from the CHP Barstow Area office.


Officer Returns To Service

The Solano Area CHP welcomed back CHP Officer Gurjot Bhangal, after a crash left him hospitalized over a year ago. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2022, Officer Bhangal and his partner were on an enforcement stop when their patrol car was struck from the rear by an impaired driver. Officer Bhangal suffered major injuries and was flown to John Muir Hospital. The Solano Area proudly shared news of the dedicated officer’s return to service with a social media post.


El Protector Program

For more than three decades, the CHP has been proactively involved in a traffic safety outreach program designed to promote safe driving behavior and build better relations with the Latino community.


Bidding A ‘Pawtner’ Farewell

After an impressive six-year career (or 42 dog years), CHP K-9 Blade has retired from service. Since 2017, CHP K-9 Blade and his handler, Officer Jay Sides, recovered 847 pounds of methamphetamine, 165 pounds of cocaine, 4kg of heroin, 113 pounds of marijuana and more than $4.8 million in cash. The CHP’s canine program was designed to support the Department’s mission of providing the highest level of safety, service and security to the public and to assist allied agencies during emergencies.