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Stolen car crashes during pursuit, ditched in Ripon

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POSTED April 2, 2013 1:49 a.m.

A Monday morning police pursuit went for nearly five miles on city surface streets shortly before 7 a.m. and ended on a Ripon frontage road following a crash at Yosemite Avenue and Austin Road.

Sgt. Mike Sexon said the car was stolen from the 1100 block of East Alameda where the keys were left in a Lincoln Town Car.  The vehicle was reportedly abandoned by a Hispanic male who fled into orchards in an area behind a Ripon truck stop.

Sexon reportedly had lost sight of the car and called off his own pursuit prior to the intersection crash.  He soon picked up the chase again, however, and followed the vehicle to the south at high speed. 

The car had traveled in both north and south directions on Powers Avenue, up Cottage Avenue, on Louise Avenue and down Austin Road as other police units were getting into position to back up the pursuing sergeant.

Sgt. Jodie Estarziau added that a common thread in early morning auto thefts is connected by motorists leaving their keys in their cars and warming them up before leaving for work.  The morning temperature was registering 50 degrees, she added, with no reason to be warming the interior of a vehicle.

Maybe a remote starting device used from inside the home is the answer in cutting the numbers of morning vehicle thefts, she said.  No one was injured in the Austin Road crash midway during the pursuit, according to the report.

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