SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Three people suspected of catalytic converter thefts were arrested following a high-speed pursuit through the streets of Santa Rosa early Tuesday.
Around 12:05 am, officers in the area of Santa Rosa Avenue and Baker Avenue were called to a catalytic converter theft in progress. When officers arrived, they found a vehicle leaving the area.
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Police said they attempted to pull over the vehicle on northbound Highway 101, but the driver refused to yield and led them on a chase. The driver reportedly was driving at speeds over 100 miles per hour on the freeway.
According to officers, the driver then exited the freeway and continued the chase through the community of Larkfield and into the Sonoma County Airport. Police said the driver destroyed two mechanical gate arms at the airport, causing $ 16,000 in damage.
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The chase ended in a parking lot south of the airport and all three occupants were taken into custody, police said. A search of the vehicle yielded a stolen catalytic converter and burglary tools.
Police said the driver, identified as 32-year-old Armando Diaz of Richmond, was booked on several charges, including felony evading, felony vandalism, possession of burglary tools, and vehicle tampering. Diaz also faces charges of felony possession of a deadly weapon, felony conspiracy and felony possession of stolen property.
The two passengers were identified by police as 31-year-old Rosario Martinez of Richmond and 33-year-old Joseph Delatorre of Richmond. Both Martinez and Delatorre are accused of felony vandalism, possession of burglary tools, vehicle tampering, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.
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According to jail records, all three suspects are being held at the Sonoma County Jail Tuesday. Diaz, Martinez and Delatorre are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.