Felony charges were filed Wednesday against a parolee accused of stealing an SUV in Hemet and leading law enforcement officers on a 30-mile chase into Moreno Valley, where he was captured.
Andrew Devin Barnes, 34, of Hemet, was slated to make his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center on charges of evading and receiving a stolen vehicle and parole violations.
According to Hemet police Lt. Nate Miller, a patrolman cruising the 600 block of West Florida Avenue about 7 p.m. Thursday spotted a red Saturn Vue occupied by a man and woman who were behaving suspiciously.
The officer ran a check on the compact SUV’s license plate and confirmed that it had been reported stolen earlier in the week, Miller said.
He said the officer signaled the driver to pull over, and the convicted felon initially complied, but before the lawman could approach the Saturn, Barnes allegedly accelerated, triggering a non-injury pursuit that went north through San Jacinto and then west into Homeland, where Barnes turned onto northbound Interstate 215.
California Highway Patrol officers took over the high-speed pursuit, with a Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew tracking overhead, Miller said.
When the defendant reached Moreno Valley, he stopped on Golden Crest Drive and bailed out of the Saturn, leaving his female companion sitting in the front passenger seat, according to the lieutenant.
Officers quickly caught up to Barnes and took him into custody without further incident. He was booked at the Smith Correctional Facility, with bail set at $170,000.
The woman was questioned and released at the scene.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and theft.
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