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Ripon man facing carjacking charge
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A 32-year-old Ripon man authorities believe was in the ridesharing vehicle that was carjacked on Monday afternoon has been taken into custody. 

Brian Daniel Billings, 32, was reportedly riding with wanted fugitive Joshua Silver on Monday in a rideshare in Ripon when police recognized Silver – who has led Manteca Police and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies on a number of high-speed pursuits over the course of the last month. 

When they contacted the Manteca Police Department for assistance and attempted to execute a felony traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle pulled over and was then forced out of the car which was then taken by the two men as officers gave chase. 

Eventually the vehicle was found abandoned on E. Yosemite Avenue, and a perimeter that was set up was not able to contain the two men who fled on foot. 

Billings is being charged with felony carjacking as well as a parole violation and is currently being held without bail at the San Joaquin County Jail. He is due to appear in Manteca Superior Court to answer to the charges next week. 

A longtime criminal that served time in California prison for his crimes, Silver was being watched last month by the Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force who was staked out at a home in the Powers Tract neighborhood. When Silver left the residence and climbed into the vehicle with a female passenger, officers from the task force as well as the Manteca Police Department street crimes unit attempted to corral the vehicle but were unsuccessful in preventing Silver from leaving. After a short pursuit that was called off because of the unsafe speeds that Silver was exhibiting through moderate to heavy traffic, he managed to slip away. 

And that was just the start of what has been a nearly month-long game of cat-and-mouse with local law enforcement agencies. 

Almost two weeks ago the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced that they too were looking for Silver and another man, Matthew John Machen, after they were spotted near the town of Clements in northeastern San Joaquin County and led deputies on not one but two separate pursuits on consecutive days – evading capture both times. 

Silver is described by local law enforcement officials as being “armed and dangerous” and should not be approached if he is recognized on the street. Anybody with any information about his whereabouts is urged to contact their local law enforcement agency immediately, or to call 911. While he is listed as a Manteca resident, since feeling the city a month ago has been seen in both Ripon, where he was spotted by law enforcement while riding in a rideshare vehicle, and Clements in northeastern San Joaquin County – where he led deputies on a pair high speed chases over a three-day period. Silver’s accomplice for those pursuits, Machen, is also still at large, although a family member appears to be in custody since last month after being picked up on a host of vehicle theft charges after being captured by the Delta Regional Auto Theft Team.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.