ATASCADERO — Nearby schools were sheltered in place Tuesday, May 14, while officers chased a man on foot in Downtown Atascadero, the Atascadero Police Department reported.
According to officials at approximately 1:19 p.m. Tuesday, afternoon, Atascadero patrol officers were dispatched to the area of Chalk Mountain Liquor regarding a suspicious person.
A white male adult with a Los Angeles Dodgers jersey was reportedly seen removing a license plate from a pickup truck. The suspect removed the entire front license plate and partially removed the rear plate.
A bystander provided the license plate to Atascadero police dispatch. After running the plate, it was found to belong to a stolen vehicle out of Buellton.
Officers responded to the area and located the vehicle on El Camino Real and Highway 41. Officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and a short vehicle pursuit ensued.
The suspect vehicle traveled on Lewis Avenue near Atascadero Middle School and subsequently crashed into a tree. The suspect fled on foot into the creek bed by the Lewis Bridge.
A shelter-in-place was issued to nearby schools: Atascadero Middle School, Atascadero Fine Arts and STEPS at 2:02 p.m. and was lifted at 2:55 p.m.
Officers established a perimeter and additional resources from the SLO Sheriff Canine Unit, as well as the California Highway Patrol helicopter. A search of the creek bed with the use of the K9 located the suspect and he was taken into custody without incident.
The suspect who initially reportedly refused to identify himself is James T. Ingles, 47. He was booked into jail on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. Ingles was charged with suspicion of felony auto theft, reckless driving and evading an officer, hit-and-run with property damage, including vehicles, and giving false identification to a peace officer. His bail was set for $20,000.