Strange behavior by a man in a bank parking lot and in Ace Hardware led to a police stop and a subsequent high-speed getaway by the suspect on Foothill Boulevard on April 4.
“There was a nun wearing a habit” in the Ace Hardware store and employees said the suspect was making odd comments to the nun, Ace Hardware owner Tim Petersen said.
The suspect suggested “a lot of stuff” could be stashed under the nun’s habit, and other unusual comments, Petersen said.
“He was really rude and off the wall,” said Ace employee Fred Bott, who was standing at the counter during the exchange. “You just don’t say things like that.”
Annie Perez, another Ace employee, said the suspect was wearing a “camo jacket” and “was a little off,” but the thing that stood out most to her was she noticed “he has big hands.”
The suspect, who was observed in a bank parking lot acting suspiciously around a vehicle, was first encountered by police in the 500 block of Washington Street around 2:35 p.m., police said.
When police asked him to get out of the car, he reportedly sped away. He went down Lincoln Avenue to Foothill Boulevard, then “poof,” a police official said, the suspect took off. Because of the dangers of the speeds at which the suspect was traveling, police stopped their pursuit.
Along the way, police said, the suspect sideswiped two cars.
The vehicle the suspect was driving, a light blue 1997 Ford Explorer, was reported stolen out of Santa Cruz.
The suspect is believed to have been involved in burglaries in Santa Cruz, police said.
He was chased by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies who also gave up the chase when another law enforcement agency picked it up.
The car was found abandoned in the hills in Woodacre.
“We think he is the same person who stole a car in Windsor,” a police official said.
He was chased away in Marin, where they believe he stole another car, and the official said there was a “huge manhunt in Marin County” for the suspect, who is still at large.
He is described as a white male about 30 to 35 years old, dirty blond hair, scruffy, with some facial hair, wearing a hooded shirt with camouflage pattern and Cartwright pants.
Police have not located the second stolen vehicle.