A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

A woman accused of carjacking a Riverside motorist at knifepoint and leading law enforcement agencies on a chase throughout the Inland Empire was charged Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon and other felonies.

Amber Leigh Ranes, 30, of Riverside was arrested Saturday following the pre-dawn chase that ended in Redlands.

Along with the assault count, Ranes is charged with carjacking and felony evading.

She’s being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail and is slated to make her initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

According to Riverside police, about 3:20 a.m. Saturday, the defendant jumped into a delivery truck stopped for a traffic light at Mulberry and 14th streets, less than a block from the Riverside (91) Freeway, pulled a long- bladed knife and attempted to cut the driver, at which point he jumped from the vehicle in fear for his life.

As Ranes sped away, the victim ran to a nearby business and called 911, according to police. The driver had left his mobile phone inside the truck, and law enforcement officials used GPS tracking facilitated by the service provider to narrow down the vehicle’s location on the east side of the city, investigators said.

Patrol units spotted the truck near the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Spruce Street and gave chase. However, Ranes allegedly drove onto the 91 Freeway and headed west.

The California Highway Patrol took over the pursuit in the Corona area, as Ranes allegedly drove onto Interstate 15.

The CHP deployed spike strips and attempted to set up temporary barriers to stop her, but to no avail.

According to police, the defendant traversed the Pomona (60) Freeway, as well as Interstates 215, 210 and 10, in and out of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, before ultimately entering the city of Redlands with CHP, Riverside police and sheriff’s units from several jurisdictions on her tail.

Ranes finally stopped at a gas station near Alabama Street and Industrial Park Avenue, where she was taken into custody without further incident.

She has no prior documented felony convictions in Riverside County.

–City News Service

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