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Man leads police on high-speed chase of stolen vehicle

Man leads police on high-speed chase of stolen vehicle

POSTED October 17, 2017 5:00 p.m.
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A 26-year-old Modesto man was arrested Saturday afternoon after he led Ceres Police on a high-speed pursuit in a stolen vehicle from Ceres to south of Turlock.

Richard French, 26, of Modesto, was booked for felony auto theft, possession of stolen property, evading, and the warrants.

Ceres Police Officer Jessica Graham was on patrol at 4:31 p.m. near the intersection of Pecos and Ninth Street in south Modesto when she tried to pull over the driver of a black Honda Civic with expired registration. The driver steered onto southbound Highway 99 at the Whitmore Avenue exit and failed to yield in heavy traffic going approximately 25 mph. French began to drive erratically and then accelerated to speeds of 120 mph swerving in and out of traffic and nearly colliding into other vehicles and causing drivers to swerve off the road. French finally pulled off at the Enoch Christoffersen rest area just north of the Lander exit near Turlock. Graham and assisting officers conducted a high-risk vehicle stop and got French to exit the vehicle.

The car had been stolen in Modesto and bore license plates belonging to another vehicle. French had three active felony warrants for his arrest.

During questioning French told police that he was trying to go to the Turlock Walmart store and borrowed the car from some guy he did not know in the trailer park in which he lives. When asked why he did not pull over French stated that he was just being "stupid."

The vehicle was released to the registered owner and French was booked.

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