(Photo courtesy of CPD)
CONCORD – Three police agencies pursued a man driving a stolen car last weekend, until he abandoned the car and hid in the basement of a building at an oil refinery, where he was finally arrested on Saturday evening.
A Concord patrol officer spotted a suspicious vehicle on Port Chicago Highway and ran a license plate check, which indicated that the 2012 Nissan Altima was reported stolen last month in Monterey.
The officer attempted to pull over the car, but the driver tried to get away instead. Police said the driver turned toward the patrol car on Arnold Industrial Way, forcing the officer to swerve to avoid colliding with the stolen car.
California Highway Patrol officers and Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office deputies quickly joined with Concord police officers in pursuit of the driver.
The CHP provided helicopter surveillance to monitor the stolen car, which was observed stopping at the Tesoro Badging refinery located at 1743 Arnold Industrial Way.
Police saw the driver and a passenger fleeing from the car—running in opposite directions.
Concord officers followed the driver into a building at the refinery and found him hiding in a basement, but he refused to surrender, until officers dispatched a police dog from its K-9 to flush him out.
The suspect James Vake, 31, of Marina, was arrested by Concord police. He’s charged with vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, assault with a deadly weapon, evading a police officer by driving the wrong way, evading a police officer by disregarding safety, child cruelty, and violation of his parole conditions.
A 17-year-old girl who also fled from the stolen car was located by CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies after a brief search, who took her into custody without further incident.
Vake is being housed at the Martinez Detention Facility, ineligible for release on bail.