A Modesto man was arrested on Thursday afternoon after fleeing in a stolen vehicle during a 30-minute police chase throughout Stanislaus County.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, investigators from the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Taskforce saw a blue 1997 Honda Civic that had been reported stolen at the McDonald’s drive-thru located at 2000 W. Main in Turlock.
Although officers attempted to block the suspect in the parking lot, he was able to drive over the curb and onto Highway 99, said Lieutenant Larry Chambers of StanCATT. Heading southbound on Highway 99 at over 100 mph, the suspect exited on Lander Avenue and headed west.
“After he exited the highway, the suspect drove out into county roads for a good portion of time,” said Chambers. “Throughout the pursuit he was running several stop signs and stop lights.”
Upon entering the City of Ceres by way of Hatch Road, the stolen vehicle was hit in the rear twice by Ceres Police officers attempting the pursuit intervention technique, otherwise known as the PIT technique. Both attempts were unsuccessful.
During the continued pursuit, California Highway Patrol officers laid out a spike strip just west of Carpenter Road, successfully disabling the vehicle.
“After the vehicle was disabled, the driver continued to drive for a little while and then finally stopped the vehicle. He and the passenger then attempted to flee by foot,” said Chambers.
According to StanCATT, the two ran through a nearby field, swam across a canal and began jumping over residential fences through various backyards.
The driver, identified as Daniel Torres, 28, of Modesto, was found and arrested in the backyard of a residence located near Glenn Avenue. Although authorities continued to search for the passenger with the help of a CHP search helicopter from Fresno, the individual is still at large.
Torres was arrested and charged with suspicion of auto theft, felony evading arrest, and assault of a police officer.
StanCATT is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement program, including officers from CHP, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, California State University, Stanislaus Police Department and the police departments from the cities of Ceres, Modesto, Newman, Oakdale, Waterford, Hughson, Patterson, and Riverbank.