Vehicle theft suspect leads officers from Nevada City to Truckee

The suspect in a car chase who led officers from Nevada City to Truckee ran over three spike strips before getting the stolen vehicle stuck in a roundabout, the California Highway Patrol said.

And then a K-9 bit him on the elbow, authorities said.

Arnaldo Alonza Sanchez, 31, of Kerman, faces charges of vehicle theft, evading police, battery with serious bodily injury and receipt of known stolen property. Booked early Tuesday into the Nevada County Jail, he remained there that afternoon under $50,000 in bond, reports state.

Authorities say Sanchez stole the white F-450 utility pickup after seeing its driver leave it running in the Sacramento area on Monday. Sanchez got inside and drove off, public information officer Carlos Perez said.

Someone reported the truck stolen at 10:31 a.m. Monday. Grass Valley police spotted it at 10:56 a.m. near Nevada Street. They tried to stop it, but the driver fled on Highway 20 toward Truckee, Perez said.

“Fluctuating speeds between 55 and 65,” he added.

Officers placed a spike strip on Highway 20, near Interstate 80. The vehicle struck one spike, flattening a tire, though the driver reached I-80 and kept going. He hit a second spike strip near Castle Peak and a third by Donner Gate, Perez said.

“Three tires were out,” the officer said.

The chase ended when the driver, who’d exited onto southbound Highway 89, drove into a roundabout and got stuck. A K-9 bit the driver on his elbow, and the suspect — identified as Sanchez — was taken into custody, Perez said.

“Nobody else was hurt during the pursuit,” he added.

Alan Riquelmy is the City Editor for The Union and Sierra Sun. He can be reached at or 530-477-4239.

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