Sgt. Tony Matuska, who took part in the pursuit and was the officer to arrest the suspect, said Filipe Hernandez Jr., 29, faces charges of burglary, possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property, evading police, driving with a suspended license and entering a house without permission from the owner.
Hernandez reportedly fled from police in a Buick Regal after a witness saw a man breaking into a pickup near the Tracy Costco at 3250 W. Grant Line Road around 4:45 p.m., Matuska said. While officers were looking for the suspect, Tracy police officer Marc Bergman reportedly saw Hernandez in the process of breaking into a pickup in an area parking lot.
“Officer Bergman saw him, and the guy jumped into a car and took off,” Matuska said.
Hernandez allegedly led Tracy police and a California Highway Patrol car east on Interstate 205 to Interstate 5 at speeds hitting as high as 110 mph.
Tracy police Capt. John Espinoza said officers continued the pursuit with the assistance of the CHP, who took over the chase on I-205. He said the decision to continue chasing Hernandez was based on a number of factors, including speed, road conditions and how the suspect was driving in heavy to light traffic.
“The officers don’t take pursuits lightly — it’s a balancing act whether to pursue or not,” he said.
Hernandez ended the car chase when he turned off I-5 at Louise Avenue and Harlan Road and ran from his car at the Tower Mart in Lathrop, Matuska said.
Matuska said Hernandez then started to jump fences, and at one point ran through a house and fled into the backyard.
Matuska said he caught up to Hernandez at a nearby Starbucks.
“He jumped the fence to Starbucks, and I saw him jump the fence in the parking lot,” Matuska said. “He matched the description, and I detained him at gunpoint.”
Police recovered three car stereos, two GPS units and two stereo speakers. The victims of two of the alleged thefts have been identified, police said, but one of the stereos has yet to be claimed, police said.
“It’s very often these people are involved in a large number of thefts — hard to say how many he was involved in,” Matuska said.
Police ask anyone who had a stereo stolen around the time of the alleged burglary in the shopping center near Walmart and Costco on Thursday to call 831-4550.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, July 20, Hernandez was in custody in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on $150,430 bail. He is scheduled for arraignment in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 23.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or email@example.com.