Two men were in custody late Monday night, while another remained on the loose after the driver crashed a stolen vehicle into a tree, ending a pursuit through downtown Grass Valley.
The California Highway Patrol issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for the silver Honda Odyssey after it was reported stolen from the driveway of a residence in Lake of the Pines, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Clint Bates.
According to dispatch reports, a man in the 12000 block of Torrey Pines Drive called to report the theft at 10:15 p.m.
Bates and another officer positioned themselves near Highway 49 and La Barr Meadows to look for the vehicle and saw it drive by them at about 10:40 p.m.
Bates made a U-turn and attempted a initiate a traffic stop, but the driver of the Odyssey failed to yield, he said.
A pursuit was initiated as the fleeing driver exited the highway at McKnight Way, then turned onto South Auburn Street, then up West Main Street at speeds approaching 50 mph.
“I lost sight of him several times,” Bates said.
The chase came to an abrupt end just outside Lyman Gilmore School, as the driver went off the road and up an embankment and ran the Odyssey up against a pine tree. All three suspects fled through the passenger door. Two were apprehended after a foot pursuit, but one man escaped despite a search with the assistance of a CHP helicopter.
A search of the vehicle did not reveal any contraband, although the vehicle smelled of alcohol, Bates said.
One of the suspects in custody is a juvenile; the other was identified as Richard Lyle Roberts, 18. Both declined medical treatment and appeared uninjured.
The third suspect remained on the loose, although investigators are working on leads, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni Tuesday morning.
Roberts was booked into county jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, resisting arrest, evading an officer and violating probation, as well as to warrants for failing to appear on felony charges. He was being held without bail.
Roberts had been arrested by Grass Valley police officers in January after being wrestled to the ground by officers, who said they found a loaded handgun on his person.
Police had responded to reports that an individual brandished a handgun in a parking lot of a grocery store on Neal Street, then later spotted Roberts.
The responding officer then attempted to conduct a routine “pat-down” search for a weapon on Roberts when the teenager allegedly attempted to break free, fighting with the officer before being subdued.
A subsequent search of Roberts allegedly revealed a loaded handgun in his inside jacket pocket. He allegedly had attempted to sell the firearm earlier in the day.
To contact Staff Writer City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229. Staff Writer Chris Rosacker contributed to this report.