Sunday, 14 July 2024

Car theft suspect caught after attempting to flee from CHP

KELSEYVILLE – Besides keeping an eye on the extra holiday activities, a local California Highway Patrol officers found himself chasing down a man suspected of stealing a car on Saturday.


CHP Officer Adam Garcia reported Tuesday that at 10:22 p.m. Saturday CHP Officer Robert Hearn spotted 31-year-old Clearlake resident Erik Wayne Sutch's 1992 Saturn crossing the double-yellow lines on Point Lakeview Drive near Fairway Drive in the Clear Lake Riviera.


Hearn attempted a traffic stop of Sutch, Garcia reported, but rather than pull over, Sutch took off, driving recklessly into Lower Lake.


Sutch was unable to negotiate a left turn onto Mill Street from Main Street and ended up hitting a utility pole, said Garcia.


After hitting the pole, Sutch attempted to flee on foot, said Garcia, but was taken into custody a short time later.


Why he attempted to run may be explained by the CHP's discovery the following day that the vehicle had been stolen from Kelseyville shortly before the chase occurred, according to Garcia.


Sutch, whose occupation is listed as mechanic on his booking sheet, faces charges, including felony vehicle theft, possession of narcotic controlled substances, evading a peace officer and bringing a controlled substance into a jail, and misdemeanors including driving without a license, driving under the influence of alcohol, obstructing a peace officer, and hit and run with property damage.


Sutch has since posted bail and been released from the Lake County Jail.


Garcia said it's important for the public to remember to lock vehicles and secure keys in a safe place to deter theft.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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