Thieves Lead Fresno Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen Mercedes Benz, Both Arrested

  • August 8, 2012
  • recovery stories

On July 11, 2012 the owners of a 2007 Mercedes Benz contacted the Fresno Police Department to report that the vehicle was stolen from their residence. The Fresno Police Department verified the theft and entered the vehicle’s information into the state and federal crime computers, which automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the Mercedes Benz.

Later that day, an investigator from Fresno HEAT, the Fresno County Auto Theft Task Force, picked up the silent LoJack homing signals from the stolen Mercedes on the LoJack Police Tracking Computer installed in his undercover vehicle. Following the directional and audible cues from the LoJack computer, the investigator tracked the moving vehicle to the vicinity of Ingram and Alluvial in northwest Fresno. There, the investigator spotted the vehicle driving away from a local market and began following it, while summoning other units to assist.

The vehicle eventually merged onto Freeway 41, heading south. At this point, the driver rapidly accelerated to speeds in excess of 100 mph. The investigator maintained visual contact with the vehicle and assisting units converged. The vehicle left the freeway near Belmont and Clovis Avenues in southeast Fresno and drove into a residential area. The vehicle ultimately pulled into the driveway of a residence, where units conducted a high-risk stop and took the two male occupants into custody.

Both of the men were arrested for vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and drug possession. The driver was identified as a known street gang member. It was discovered that he was wanted on two additional vehicle theft cases and a burglary. The trunk of the vehicle was found to be full of construction tools, suspected of also being stolen.

Investigators initially thought that the suspects had spotted them when they began to follow the car. It turned out that these criminals were just “driving the car like they stole it – because they did!” They drove the stolen car right into the driveway of a friend’s residence, oblivious to the fact that unmarked police cars were behind them. The vehicle was recovered intact and undamaged; it was stored pending release to the owner.
The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in the 2007 Mercedes Benz in April of 2007 by Rusnak Mercedes Benz in Arcadia, California. This vehicle is valued at $21,300.