Two men escaped following a lengthy high-speed chase late Wednesday that wound through Merced into Chowchilla, the Police Department confirmed.
Merced officers tried to stop a silver Chevrolet Tahoe with paper dealer plates at 10:09 p.m. in the 1500 block of G Street on a traffic violation, but the driver of the Tahoe sped away from the officers and raced onto southbound Highway 99, Lt. Don King told the Sun-Star.
Police chased the SUV from the highway to Sandy Mush Road and eventually onto Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, where the vehicle crashed into a canal, authorities said.
A helicopter from the California Highway Patrol joined the pursuit, but the two men in the SUV, who were described only as adult males, managed to escape and remained at large Thursday morning, King said.
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The chase lasted 18 minutes and reached speeds of 90 mph.
There were no injuries reported.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced Police Department at 209-385-7829. Tips are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.