Photo: Matthew Johnson
It’s an early spring morning and an unsuspecting victim starts their car, then heads inside their home for a brief moment. The resident steps back outside, intending to go to work, their car all warmed up, but now their car is gone.
Such was the case on March 28 when Chowchilla Police Officers responded to a home on Cherry Way to get a description of the stolen car and the victim’s statement. Later that same day, officers spotted the car cruising on Colusa Ave.
Noticing police were closing in, the driver, 25-year old Matthew Johnson, accelerated and police pursued. He momentarily evaded police by driving into an almond orchard on Ave. 24½ and Road 15 but a witness saw him exit the orchard on Road 15 ½ and head east on Colusa Ave. This information was relayed to police officers.
It didn’t take long to find the car once again. A perimeter was set up around the 1200 block of Mariposa Ave. where the unoccupied car was parked.
Johnson was soon found and arrested. He is charged with recklessly evading police, theft, and attempting to buy or sell stolen property.
Johnson, who has been in custody three times since 2015 for evading arrest using stolen cars as his getaway, also earned himself a violation of his parole. He is currently at the Madera County Department of Corrections with bail set at $50,000.