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Santa Rosa man arrested following west county chase, car theft attempt

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A Santa Rosa man suspected of helping a woman try to steal a truck from a vineyard worker, possibly after signaling that he had a gun, then leading Sonoma County deputies on a chase through the west county was in custody Saturday, authorities said.

Authorities received a call about a man, who they identified as Michael Green, 44, when a property owner on Falstaff Road west of Sebastopol called to report a trespasser about 10 a.m. Friday, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Cutting said. Green was accompanied by Camille Steele, 35, of Bodega Bay. The pair were told leave when confronted by the property owner, Cutting said.

A second call about a car theft at a nearby vineyard came in to authorities soon after. A worker at the vineyard told authorities a woman, who authorities identified as Steele, had jumped into his truck and attempted to drive away, though the worker was able to stop her, Cutting said.

Steele and Greene then drove away on a Harley Davidson-style motorcycle before the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office or the CHP, which was called about the attempted car theft, were able to find them. Greene “made a motion to his back that led the victim to believe that he had a gun” before fleeing, Cutting said.

Deputies found Steele at a home near Portuguese Beach, north of Bodega Bay, later that afternoon and she was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft, a felony warrant out of Marin County and conspiracy to commit a crime. Deputies stayed in the area until about 5:25 p.m., when a deputy spotted Greene riding his motorcycle on Highway 1 near Coleman Beach, Cutting said.

The deputy tried to pull Greene over, though he continued north on the freeway and then east onto Highway 116, passing cars and reaching speeds of 80 mph during the 35-minute chase, Cutting said. Trailed by three patrol cars and a helicopter, Greene drove into Guerneville and Forestville, and then doubled back to Guerneville before taking River Road and stopping at the 10000 block of Westside Road, Cutting said.

During the pursuit, a deputy reported seeing Greene, who also had a felony warrant for violating his parole, throwing what turned out to be a loaded 9 mm pistol into the roadway, Cutting said. The gun was retrieved by a California State Parks ranger by Highway 116 in the area of Pocket Canyon, Cutting said. “He had intimidated a person with a firearm, he had the firearm during the pursuit and a felony warrant,” Cutting said. “There were a lot of reasons why we needed to take this guy into custody.”

Greene, who said he stopped because of mechanical issues with his motorcycle, was arrested on felony evasion, felony weapons charges, a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, conspiracy to commit a crime as well as a felony warrant out of Sonoma County for violating his parole, Cutting said. Both he and Steele remained in custody at the Sonoma County Jail on Saturday. CHP and California State Parks helped close roads to drivers as the chase progressed through west county, Cutting said. No injuries or crashes were reported to either agency, Cutting said.

“The people driving, every one just pulled over,” Cutting said. “They were very respectful and made it very safe for us. I’ve never seen that in a pursuit.”

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.

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