Girl, 14, leads Redding officers on 114 mph pursuit of stolen van

REDDING — A teen was arrested after officials say she led officers on a short, early morning pursuit in a stolen van Saturday, Dec. 28. The extremely dangerous chase, which covered about 18 miles and hit speeds of 114 mph on the freeway and 75 miles per hour on city streets, began in Redding near the intersection of Hilltop Dr. and E. Palisades Ave. and ended in Cottonwood in the area of Bowman and Landes roads.

The 14-year-old driver was eventually apprehended and arrested without incident after one of the stolen vehicle’s tires fell off and the van became disabled. Several young teens who were inside the van during the chase, including two runaways, were released without charges and later returned to their parents or guardians, according to officials.

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Saturday’s pursuit began just after 11 p.m., when a Redding police officer spotted a blue, 2007 Dodge Caravan driving through the parking lots of closed businesses with its headlights off, Redding Police Sergeant Jeff Schmidt reported after the incident and arrest.

The officer saw there were multiple people inside the van and suspected the occupants were engaged in criminal activity. The officer conducted a records check of the vehicle’s license plate and learned the van had been reported stolen from the Red Bluff area.

The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the stolen van, at which time the driver accelerated away from the officer in an attempt to elude capture.

Despite the officer’s lights and sirens, the driver, whose name has not been released due to her age, fled southbound Hilltop Dr., before heading west on Cypress Ave. and then southbound on Interstate 5.

As other officers joined the chase, they requested assistance from CHP for both ground and air support and a CHP helicopter immediately responded to the area to assist in the chase.

Officers on the ground and in the air continued to purse the van south on I-5 to Anderson until the van exited at North St. The van then turned south on Ventura St. before getting back onto southbound I-5.

As the pursuit continued, the driver fled in an extremely reckless manner, without regard for the safety of other citizens or pursuing officers, according to Schmid; twho reported the van was seen running all stop signs and stop lights and crossing into oncoming traffic.

With officers still in pursuit, the van again exited I-5 at Deschutes Rd. and traveled west to State Route 273, before turning south on State Route 273 and eventually getting back onto the southbound I-5.

At some point during the nearly 22 mile chase the van sustained damage to the left front wheel and tire, causing the tire to go flat and eventually fall off. Despite only having three wheels, the driver continued fleeing into downtown Cottonwod until the van became disabled on Bowman Rd. at Landes Rd., where the driver and passengers were taken into custody, according to the Sgt.

Officers soon learned all the occupants from the stolen van were juveniles ranging from 11 to 15-years-old. Officers also determined that two of the juveniles were reported as runaways, including one out of Shasta County and the other out of Red Bluff.

After her arrest, the driver was booked into Shasta County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evasion, and reckless driving, according to Schmidt; who said the other juveniles were eventually released to their parents and that no charges were being filed against them.

None of the juveniles’ names are being released due to their age.

There were no reported injuries related to the pursuit.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 19R085418 and can remain anonymous.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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