Manhunt cancelled; Suspect at large

February 17, 2009 4:16:59 PM PST
The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office lifted a shelter-in-place advisory for residents in El Sobrante and unincorporated Richmond Tuesday after calling off a search for a possible car thief, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

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At about 11:50 a.m. Tuesday a sheriff's deputy allegedly saw the driver of a green Saturn try to run another vehicle off the road in the area of May and Valley View roads in Richmond, Lee said.

When the deputy tried to stop the driver, he allegedly fled.

As the deputy was chasing the suspect, he noticed that the driver's side window had been shattered, possibly indicating that the vehicle had been stolen, Lee said.

The deputy chased the suspect until he crashed the Saturn in the area of Ridgeview and Trailside drives, Lee said.

The suspect then took off on foot with deputies in pursuit.

Deputies searched the area with police dogs and a helicopter, but didn't find the suspect.

They called off the search at 1:40 p.m., Lee said.

The sheriff's office notified about 300 residents that the search was happening and advised them to stay inside and be on the lookout for the suspect, who was described as a 51-year-old white man standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He has light brown hair, green eyes and a blond mustache.

The shelter-in-place warning has since been lifted.

Lee hadn't confirmed this afternoon that the suspect's vehicle had been stolen, but said the window had been smashed and the ignition had been punched.

Deputies believe they know who the suspect is and are aware of several outstanding warrants for his arrest, including one for a weapons violation, Lee said.

He should be considered dangerous and anyone who sees him should call 911.

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