Santa Rosa police arrested a suspected car thief Tuesday after chasing him through a westside shopping center.

Officers stopped Donovan Lee Sweeden, 32, about 4 p.m. near the intersection of Guerneville Road and Cleveland Avenue to talk to him about a car stolen a day earlier in Santa Rosa. Sweeden fled, running into the nearby Coddingtown Mall where he briefly lost officers before being spotted inside the J.C. Penney department store, police said.

Security officers called police, reporting the suspect was in the store buying a pair of shoes.

Authorities set up around the mall, and as the man exited a westside store door an officer ordered him to stop. He instead lead authorities on a chase through the store, but an officer and a security employee caught him in a tussle, police said.

The officer and suspect suffered minor injuries after they fell to the ground in the scuffle, police said.

Sweeden was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, resisting arrest and violating probation. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail on $10,000 bail.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.