A high-speed pursuit of a stolen Mercedes-Benz sedan crossed state lines Thursday morning and entered three police jurisdictions before officers nabbed a 19-year-old youth and his teen passenger in the Clear Creek area near the Carson City-Douglas County line.
Shane Michael Wilson of Merced, Calif., was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana. An unidentified 17-year-old male was taken to juvenile detention, police said.
The incident began at 9:30 a.m. in South Lake Tahoe when police were called to an attempted burglary at a home on Eldorado Avenue.
"A description of the vehicle was put out and some deputies saw the car eastbound on Highway 50 near Johnson Boulevard traveling at a high rate of speed," said Sgt. Alec Schumacher, South Lake Tahoe police spokesman. "The officers tried to stop it and the pursuit began."
The car, a white1989 Mercedes 300 E, was stolen during a burglary in Merced on Tuesday night, police said.
Schumacher said the pursuit continued eastbound through several red lights before entering Nevada.
"At that point we requested Douglas County to take primary on the pursuit," he said.
Once inside Nevada the chase topped 100 mph on Spooner Summit, said Lt. Mike Biaggini of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.
"Half way down -- above Clear Creek -- they lost control of the car and spun out facing against traffic," Biaggini said.
Witness Mike Ivie of Gardnerville said he watched the Mercedes in his rear-view mirror weaving in and out of traffic and nearly hitting at least two other cars as it sped down the hill.
"That last turn, they were just going too fast and hit the guard rail," Ivie said.
The sedan rammed a police cruiser, knocking the deputy to the ground, he said. The deputy was unharmed.
Once the Mercedes came to a stop, Biaggini said, a deputy jumped from his vehicle and ordered the two teens out.
Both men ran down the hill toward Clear Creek, leaving the disabled Mercedes facing traffic and rolling backward down the hill. A deputy stopped the car as other officers gave chase on foot, quickly catching the 17-year-old.
After an hour-long search of the woods in the sparsely populated Clear Creek neighborhood, a home-owner assisting deputies search his property on Jeffrey Pines opened the rear of a van. Wilson was found inside.
Biaggini said the Nevada Highway Patrol will be handling the investigation.
Douglas County authorities anticipate charging Wilson with battery with a deadly weapon and trying to evade police. Schumacher said alleged crimes committed in South Lake Tahoe include attempted burglary of the home, felony evasion of a police officer and possession of a stolen vehicle.
He said district attorneys from both counties will get together to decide where each of the alleged crimes are to be prosecuted.