A 30-year-old Turlock man was arrested Wednesday after a four-minute pursuit with Merced police through the northern part of the city, authorities reported Thursday.
ason Rocha was taken into custody after he crashed a vehicle that had been reported stolen near the north end of R Street, according to Lt. Bimley West.
The pursuit began not long after dispatchers received a call about a suspicious person who appeared to be trying to break into a green Mitsubishi Montero in the Lowe's parking lot in the 1700 block of West Olive Avenue.
Officers responded to the area and saw someone driving the Montero near West Olive Avenue and Highway 59, West said. The driver then made a right turn onto Highway 59 from West Olive and sped up to about 80 mph.
Officers pursued the vehicle and confirmed the Montero was stolen from the Turlock area. West speculated the suspect may have been trying to break in to the Montero in the Lowe's parking lot because he didn't have the keys, and it was the only way he could get back into it.
The pursuit continued north onto R Street, with the driver trying to escape from police by driving through a dirt field. The chase came to an end, however, after the Montero crashed into a ditch. Rocha was arrested at the scene.
The suspect was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony evading law enforcement and being in possession of a stolen vehicle.