Grass Valley car theft suspect arrested after multi-county pursuit |

Grass Valley car theft suspect arrested after multi-county pursuit

Michael Coman

A man who stole a vehicle from a Grass Valley car lot Saturday morning led multiple law enforcement officers on a multi-county pursuit before ditching the car and running, authorities said.

The suspect was found with the help of a K-9, however, a Placer County sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

Michael Coman, 46, was booked into the Placer County Jail on charges of recklessly evading a peace officer, vehicle theft, being under the influence of a controlled substance and violation of parole. He remained held without bail on Monday, jail records state.

The owner of the vehicle dealership in the 1600 block of East Main Street called 911 at 10:45 a.m. to report the theft of a 2018 Honda Civic, dispatch reports state.

“He was in the middle of opening the business, and the key was in the vehicle because he was preparing it to be shown,” said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Clint Bates. “He saw the car leaving from the lot.”

Officers responded and issued a be-on-the-lookout advisory, Bates said.

Around 11:17 a.m., Placer County sheriff’s deputies spotted the stolen vehicle driving southbound on Highway 49, spokeswoman Angela Musallam stated in a press release. Deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over but the driver took off, sparking a pursuit onto westbound Interstate 80 and northbound Highway 65.

At one point, deputies slowed down and allowed a California Highway Patrol air unit to monitor the driver, she said.

The driver appeared to have been listening to a police scanner, Musallam said, adding that he was able to dodge multiple efforts to disable the car using spike strips.

CHP officers then pursued the suspect into Davis, where he turned around and began driving back toward Placer County, she said. The suspect eventually ran into a residential area north of Auburn Ravine. Placer County sheriff’s deputies, along with Auburn police and CHP officers, immediately set up a perimeter to search for the suspect. A K-9 unit located Coman inside his residence in the neighborhood where he had taken off on foot, Musallam said.

A Grass Valley K-9 assisted at the scene where the vehicle was abandoned, Bates said, adding his department handled the vehicle recovery.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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