A suspected drugged driver in Winchester was arrested Monday, allegedly with thousands of dollars of possible stolen merchandise in his vehicle.

Jonathan Leo Ruggles was booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig, about 9:30 a.m., officers were called to the area of Borrel and Warren roads to investigate reports of a man slumped over the wheel of a 2005 Nissan Maxima.

When officers arrived, they encountered Ruggles asleep at the wheel of the parked car, Lassig said.

“After waking the man, officers observed objective signs and symptoms of impairment,” the CHP spokesman said.

He alleged that field sobriety tests confirmed their suspicions, and Ruggles was taken into custody for alleged impaired driving.

However, as the investigation continued and a search of the vehicle was conducted, multiple items were located that appeared to be stolen, according to Lassig.

“These items consisted of brand new power tools, gift cards, clothing, electronics and other miscellaneous new items with a potential value of $2,500 to $3,000,” the CHP spokesman said.

There was no immediate way to confirm whether the items had been illegally obtained, or which outlets from which they may have been taken. Members of the CHP’s Retail Theft Crime Task Force were summoned to initiate an investigation, Lassig said.

In the meantime, Ruggles was booked into jail on suspicion of DUI. He’s being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Jail records indicated that he was taken into custody in October by Riverside County sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of forgery, identity theft and probation violations. He posted bond and was released. The status of that case was not immediately known.

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