On Thursday, March 5th, the pursuit of an allegedly stolen vehicle ended in Newhall Pass with the suspect’s arrest. According to reports, the pursuit began in Palmdale over an allegedly stolen vehicle. The pursuit continued from Palmdale through Agua Dulce and eventually the Santa Clarita Valley, where it came to an end in the Newhall Pass. During the pursuit, the suspect allegedly fired shots at deputies in pursuit both on the ground and in the air.
Over the course of the chase, deputies attempted to force the vehicle to stop on multiple occasions, they used two spike strips in an attempt to take out the tires of the vehicle. The strips were successful, though the suspect continued to flee until the rim of his tire began making sparks on the road. The suspect then brought the vehicle to a stop and exited, running into oncoming traffic in an attempt to flee deputies. The suspect was hit by a vehicle during his flight, after which he was shot by a deputy. The suspect then gave up without further resistance.
Grand Theft Auto is covered under California Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC and is considered a form of California grand theft. In the state, when a stolen item or items are valued at less than $950, the crime is typically charged as petty theft-a misdemeanor. However, when the value of stolen items is worth $950 or more, it becomes the more serious crime of grand theft.
Technically, grand theft auto is a “wobbler” in California that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. In practice, however, the crime is usually charged as a felony. Felony penalties for GTA include 16 months to 3 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If the defendant has a prior GTA conviction on their record, the sentence is increased to 2, 3, or 4 years in prison. Additionally, if the price of the stolen vehicle is above $65,000, an additional and consecutive year in prison can be added to their sentence. If the value of the vehicle is $200,000 or more, 2 additional years are added.