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Suspected car thieves led police in Pleasanton on a high-speed chase on Monday afternoon, but the alleged thieves eventually crashed their car and were taken into custody, police said. Officers were investigating an auto burglary in the Stoneridge Mall parking lot when a witness described a vehicle and two occupants that might have been involved. Minutes later, another officer located the vehicle – a 1987 light green Buick LeSabre – in the west mall parking lot.
The officer tried to pull the car over, but the driver refused police orders to turn off the ignition, and fled the mall onto Foothill Road. Two patrol cars pursued the Buick onto westbound Interstate Highway 580, chasing the car at speeds of up to 100 mph. Pleasanton police requested assistance from the California Highway Patrol, but before CHP officers arrived the suspects’ car collided with the center barrier east of the Castro Valley Boulevard exit.
The suspects’ car rolled over and landed on its roof. Police took the two suspects into custody. Police identified the driver of the car as 22-year-old Rafael Gamez of Oakland and the passenger as 22-year-old Jose Ramos of Hayward. Both suspects were transported to Eden Hospital in Castro Valley and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Once they are released from the hospital, police plan to charge Gamez with evading a police officer, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property and vehicle theft. Ramos will be charged with possession of burglary tools.Police are working to identify the property in the suspects’ vehicle and are looking into possible connections with other robberies.
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