Santa Ana police say 35-year-old Jose Ortiz of Winnetka and 37-year-old Ryan Tischer of Anaheim were released from jail Wednesday at about 7:20 p.m.
After their release, the two drank alcohol, stole a 1994 Ford van and drove it to a police parking lot, between the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Santa Ana Police Department.
They entered the public parking structure and broke into the car of a city of Santa Ana employee and stole items from the vehicle.
During the break-in, an off-duty Santa Ana police officer in plain clothes walked into the parking structure as he spoke on his cellphone. Ortiz charged at the officer and tried to take his phone. The officer defended himself and took Ortiz into custody. Tischer was also taken into custody.
"Why they came back to a location with a stolen vehicle to commit crimes up to and including robbery at that location - that's between the sheriff's department and police department. It's just bizarre," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with Santa Ana police.
The two were booked into the Santa Ana Police Department Jail, but authorities said they will be transferred back to Orange County Jail.
Police say both Ortiz and Tischer have lengthy arrest records.