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Fleeing driver leaves behind lots of cash, drugs & gun
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Manteca Police patrol officer Shawn Cavin, left, was the first officer to locate a black ’97 Ford Mustang that led CHP officer Chuck Wagner, center, on a high speed pursuit from Nile Avenue and Airport Way shortly after noon on Friday. Wagner cancelled his own pursuit when he lost sight of the fleeing vehicle near Yosemite Avenue and Airport Way for fear of injury to unsuspecting motorists on the roadway. - photo by GLENN KAHL
A Friday noon high speed chase from rural Manteca ended with a Manteca Police officer finding the ’97 Ford Mustang abandoned behind an eatery in the 1400 block of West Yosemite Avenue where the driver had fled leaving a large amount of cash, drugs and a semi-automatic hand gun.

CHP Officer Chuck Wagner was on the lookout for speeders on Airport Way and Nile Avenue, saying he had clocked the car at more than 75 miles per hour.  Wagner gave chase with the fleeing car reaching speeds of 110 to 120 miles per hour as it traveled northbound on Airport Way passing other cars.

The vehicle sustained right side damage after it evidently sideswiped another car or possibly a fence with additional damage and wood splinters found in the right rear wheel and tire.

The driver used the 120 Bypass off ramp in an attempt to elude the officer before getting back onto Airport Way.  When Wagner lost visual sighting of the car he called off the pursuit with his dispatch notifying the Manteca Police Department of the fleeing vehicle.

Officer Shawn Cavin found the car within minutes parked in a handicapped zone behind a delicatessen on Yosemite Avenue west of Watson Avenue.  The registered owner of the car was reportedly on parole and had a warrant out for his arrest.  It was not clear whether he was actually the driver of the sports car.

 Manteca detectives Ranch Johnson and Sgt. Danny Erb responded to the scene and took part in searching the vehicle for drugs.