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Police seek suspected Rohnert Park vehicle thief

Rohnert Park police Friday were looking for a man suspected of SUV theft and leading officers on a brief high-speed chase before disappearing into the hills east of town.

Officers have a "stop and hold" order out to neighboring law enforcement agencies on Johnny Jesus Hernandez, 31, Rohnert Park Lt. Jeff Taylor said Friday.

The incident started Thursday morning when officers were called to Southwest Boulevard at about 10:30 a.m. due to a man arguing, revving his tires and peeling out from an apartment complex.

Officers spotted the car heading out of the area and attempted to stop the driver who sped away, Taylor said.

The man behind the wheel of the 2008 Ford Edge drove to the Rohnert Park Expressway and north onto Petaluma Hill Road, where he reached 100 mph, Taylor said.

From Petaluma Hill Road the man drove onto Warrington Road and up into the rural hills between Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa.

Officers set up the road with spike strips, as it's the only route off the hill, said Taylor.

The driver, however, had partially hidden the vehicle in brush and taken off on foot.

Officers found the vehicle had been stolen Sunday night from a Sonoma State University student.

Information developed indicated Hernandez was the driver and he now is wanted on suspicion of felony evading police, possessing a stolen vehicle and vehicle theft, Taylor said.


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