Serial SLO County car thief to get five years in jail

Zachary Hamlin

An Arroyo Grande man who was suspected of stealing numerous cars in San Luis Obispo and South County pleaded no contest this week to five felony counts of auto theft. He will receive a sentence of five years in SLO County Jail.

On July 15, officers arrested Zachary Hamlin, 37, after he was spotted trying to enter a stolen vehicle near his home.

In July, there were at least 40 stolen vehicle reports in the City of San Luis Obispo and South County. Investigators from the CHP, as well as the San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach police departments identified Hamlin as the person responsible for the July rise in auto thefts.

Prosecutors charged Hamlin with six vehicle thefts. Hamlin initially pleaded no contests to the auto theft counts and other charges.

After reaching a plea deal, Hamlin pleaded no contest on Monday to five counts of auto theft. In addition to dropping one vehicle theft count, prosecutors dismissed charges of resisting arrest and possession of burglary tools.

Hamlin is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 18.