Chico Police say reduced traffic due to the Stay-At-Home order has helped them catch car thieves

Chico Police say reduced traffic due to Governer Newsoms Stay-At-Home order has helped them to track down a stolen vehicle and the man they believe to be responsible.

Posted: Apr 5, 2020 10:11 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico Police say reduced traffic due to Governer Newsoms Stay-At-Home order has helped them to track down a stolen vehicle and the man they believe to be responsible. 

Police say that on Saturday, March 4 at approximately 11:54 p.m., Officer Stelzner observed a green Honda Civic traveling eastbound on W. 9th Street within the downtown area. As it was the only vehicle on the road, he paid particular attention to it.

Officials say during a routine check of its registration status, Officer Stelzner discovered that the vehicle was stolen. Officer Stelzner attempted to conduct a high-risk vehicle stop, however, the vehicle pulled into a gas station in the area of E. 11th Street and Park Avenue.

When the stolen vehicle came to a stop, the driver immediately fled and jumped over a fence into a backyard.

Officers say they quickly established a perimeter and began searching backyards for the suspect. K9 Officer Cox and his partner Pax assisted with the search and ultimately discovered the suspect hiding on the property.

Police say the suspect was taken into custody without further incident. He was identified as Colton Smith, 20, of Orland. Smith was arrested for Resisting Arrest, Vehicle Theft, Possessing a Controlled Substance and Trespassing. Smith was later transported to Butte County Jail.

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