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Hiding in cow manure didn’t work for theft suspect
stolen KIA
Bryan Woolever, 40, of Turlock, drove a stolen Kia Optima into a dirt pile on Monday night and fled into a dairy cow pen (Photo contributed).

A Turlock man’s attempt at avoiding arrest by hiding in a cow pen came to a fruitless end when he surrendered to law enforcement cold, wet and smelly.

The suspect, Bryan Woolever, 40, of Turlock, had been hiding from law enforcement after leading them on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle, according to the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Taskforce.

Bryan Woolever
Bryan Woolever

On Monday evening agents with StanCATT spotted a 2017 Kia Optima in the area of Lander and Glenwood avenues. A records check revealed that the license plates on the Kia had been reported stolen, so StanCATT requested the assistance of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Air Support Association and the Turlock Police Department.

A Turlock police officer in a marked patrol vehicle attempted an enforcement stop on the vehicle and the driver, later identified as Woolever, initially complied by pulling the car over to the side of the road. However, he then sped off, almost striking a StanCATT agent in the process. Woolever was reportedly driving at a speed in excess of 110 miles per hour.

The TPD and StanCATT opted to not engage in a pursuit of the suspect because of the high rate of speed. Instead, the air patrol was used to track and monitor the Kia.

In the area of Simmons and Walnut roads the suspect tried to make a turn, but was going too fast and crashed into a dirt pile. Woolever then fled on foot from the crash scene into a dairy.

StanCATT requested the assistance of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit and they arrived shortly thereafter to begin the search.

The dog zeroed in on one particular cow pen and law enforcement surrounded it and attempted to convince Woolever to come out from hiding. The efforts finally paid off about an hour later, when Woolever said he was wet and cold and ready to come out. He was given medical treatments and taken into custody.

Woolever was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and felony evading. He also had six warrants for drug-related offenses.