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Shoplifters try to flee police, cause crash

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Shoplifters try to flee police, cause crash

Manteca Police officers Greg Beall and Bob Anderson were part of Monday’s effort to catch suspected shoplifters.

Photo courtesy of Mikah Ledesma/

POSTED April 12, 2013 1:50 a.m.

Two women, who allegedly conspired to burglarize Kohl’s Department Store Monday night, didn’t get far with over $2,000 worth of merchandise as they led officers on a pursuit, crashed into a pickup truck and jumped over fences between backyards where they were apprehended by a police dog.   

Manteca Police Lt. Tony Souza said Misty Nichole Jones, 28, and Andrea Denese Chaves, 18, both of Modesto, were charged with burglary, conspiracy and resisting arrest after they were captured.  Jones was also charged with felony possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale, evading officers while driving on the wrong side of the roadway at high speed along with misdemeanor hit and run.

Souza recalled that the incident began when Officer Joe Ahuna was in the department store at about 6:20 p.m. taking a report on another shoplifting case when Chavez ran out the back door of Kohl’s with a collection of clothing items.  A gold Honda was waiting by the rear door and she was observed putting the merchandise into the vehicle.

As it sped away out of the parking lot and in a northerly direction on Airport Way, it was spotted by patrolman Dave Brown at the intersection with Daniels Street where the officer attempted to make a traffic stop.  A pursuit ensued and reached speeds of 70 miles an hour, going east bound on West Louise Avenue, Souza said, causing watch commander Sgt. Mike Aguilar to suspend the chase.

At the corner or Springtime Avenue and Lancaster Drive – a residential area east of North Main Street and north of Louise Avenue – the women crashed into a pickup truck and ran from the scene.  The driver of the truck was uninjured and pointed out the direction of the women’s flight to arriving officers.

Souza said they fled on foot for some 75 yards, jumping fences in the neighborhood, and hiding from officers in a back yard in the 400 block of Lancaster Drive.  The residential area was cordoned off as officers searched for the women.  Officer Bob Anderson and his canine partner, Hoss, had been involved as a backup unit in the initial pursuit and joined in the yard searches.

Anderson discovered the women and ordered them to come out of their hiding place at the rear of a home.  When they did not respond, the officer sent his barking canine into the yard to bring them out.  Hoss found the pair hiding under a tarp and took them into custody – reportedly biting the 18-year-old in the back, leaving superficial wounds.

Both women were transported to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.  Jones was being held in lieu of $275,000 bail and Chavez was jailed without bail.  The next court date for the duo is set for April 16 in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.

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