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american canyon police car

The American Canyon Police Department has two police dogs, which ride in cars like this one.

A construction worker drove onto his American Canyon work site Tuesday morning and parked his car, keys inside.

He looked up, police say, to find Jessie Butte, 37, driving off with his car, wallet and tools just before 10 a.m., according to a statement released by the American Canyon Police Department.

The construction worker and his colleagues caught a glimpse of the thief as they chased after him on foot, police say. The vehicle sped off as the driver threw tools out of the window.

The pursuing workers didn’t give up.

They chased Butte about a quarter mile down American Canyon Road until he ditched the car by a Safeway, police say. Officers came to the area and found Butte, who said he found the wallet in Vallejo. He denied stealing the car, but workers said Butte was the thief, police said.

Butte was out on parole for auto theft in Solano County, where he lives. He was booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of three felonies and one misdemeanor related to stealing a car and breaking the terms of his parole.

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Public Safety Reporter

Courtney Teague is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She can be reached at 707-256-2221. You can follow her reporting on Twitter and Facebook, or send her anonymous tip at: tinyurl.com/anonymous-tipbox-courtney.