High speed pursuit ends in stolen vehicle arrest


High speeds and a sharp curve proved to be the undoing of a Bay Point car thief being pursued by Danville police officers. Sgt. Dan Hoffman said the pursuit occurred Thursday evening at 10 p.m. when Officer Mike Ireland spotted a vehicle speeding on San Ramon Valley Boulevard near Town and Country Drive.

Ireland tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver, identified as Juan Garcia, 20, increased speed and tried to escape. Dispatchers informed Ireland that the vehicle was reported stolen out of Bay Point earlier in the day.

The pursuit only last a few minutes and reached speeds of 90 miles per hour on San Ramon Valley Boulevard before Garcia failed to negotiate the curve in the roadway just south of Fostoria Way and slid across traffic, over the curve and into the vegetation bordering I-680.

Garcia fled the vehicle on foot. Police set up a perimeter around the area and Garcia was apprehended a short time later. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries from the car crash and then transported to the Martinez Detention Center.

Police charged Garcia with possession of stolen property, driving a stolen vehicle, felony evading, resisting arrest and felony probation violation. Due to the probation violation, Garcia is being held with no bond.


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2009 at 8:22 am

How many people could have been killed by this high speed chase? When are the police going to realize that high speed chases often times kill innocent people. Recovering a stolen car is not worth jeopardizing someone’s life.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2009 at 8:46 am

I agree Sarah, but ... Way to go Danville police, thanks for getting him off our streets.

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Posted by J
a resident of Alamo
on May 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

And... he was already speeding and endangering lives.

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Posted by Michelle
a resident of Danville
on May 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm


"How many people could have been killed by this high speed chase?"

Well, it's apparent in this case that nobody was. And, the bad guy is off to jail where he belongs and we are safer because of it!

I'm certain that no matter what the police do in our community to keep it safe, you are the type to always be critical.

You were not there, so you don't know what the circumstances were and therefore are in no position to judge their tactics. I'm sure that if the actions of the bad guy were so bad during this high speed chase that truly put the general public's safety in great peril, they would have stopped it. They caught the bad guy and nobody got hurt but the guy running from the police. I'm not feeling too bad for him.

I've lived here for more than 30 years and I have yet to hear of a Danville Police chase ending in someone getting hurt. Obviously, they are doing something right..

Good job Danville Police and keep up the good work!!

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Posted by Ike
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Thank you, Danville police, not only for doing your job right, but also for not sharing Sarah's philosophy of not doing the right thing if there is any risk involved.
That's one less criminal walking in our midst, and potentially threatening law abiding citizens.

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Posted by Denise
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2009 at 6:26 am

There's always a risk of injury when criminals and police are involved. I for one, hope that the police use good judgment and caution when chasing at high speeds, but how else are they going to get the bad guys who are driving around in stolen vehicles? If we want safe towns and streets the police have to do their jobs and that means high speed chases and possibly weapons too. The police don't need the public interfering with their tactics and methods. Let them apprehend the perps and put them where they belong or better yet, deport them.

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Posted by Jill
a resident of Danville
on May 10, 2009 at 2:54 am

What kind of message are the police sending to the community and to thiefs by NOT pursuing them? I would think if police took that approach, you'd see crime sky rocket. Despite what you may think, car chases are extremely rare, even more so in a place like Danville. Most criminals surrender without incident, and that is do in part that they are aware if they run, they will be caught and there could be worse circumstances.

Good job DPD!

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Posted by Aaron
a resident of Alamo
on May 13, 2009 at 8:57 pm

About 20 years ago, in the town where I grew up which is demographically very similar to Danville, police pursuing a car at high speed (three teens out for a middle of the night joy ride in Dad's new car) resulted in a crash. One teen was killed and one was nearly paralyzed. As a result of that shocking crash, the town adopted a "no chase" policy. This change did not result in a higher rate of car theft or crime, and this town is now one of many cited in studies relating to statistics of "no chase" policies.

While I applaud the Danville Police Dept for being so effective, I think it needs to study the statistics and reconsider its chasing policy. The risk to human life is not worth the reward of recovering a piece of property, particularly when the stats show a "no chase" policy does not affect crime rates.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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