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June 2, 2023

Woman arrested after reported kidnapping, high-speed chase

SANTA CRUZ—A woman was taken into custody Monday following a high-speed chase that originated in San Jose and came to a safe end in downtown Santa Cruz.

California Highway Patrol officer Sam Coutney said an elderly man was sitting in a Ford transport van outside a care home in San Jose around 3pm when a woman reportedly jumped in the driver’s seat and sped off with the van and the man.

As the white van made its way over Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz, about a half-dozen San Jose Police got behind the vehicle with lights and sirens blaring. A helicopter was also called in to help follow the chase.

As the caravan approached Scotts Valley, a CHP officer spotted the van and several patrol cars from various agencies joined the pursuit. The 34-year-old woman worked her way along Ocean Street to Water Street where police managed to trap her in by the Town Clock, Courtney said. There, the woman was taken into custody. The man was secured and placed in a patrol car to be checked out by medical personnel.

That section of Water Street and several surrounding streets were shut down as swarms of police and medical personnel fanned out in the area.

The incident is still under investigation.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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