YREKA, Calif. — A brazen car theft and resulting state-spanning car chase on Wednesday ended when the suspects careened over an embankment along Interstate-5, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The incident began when 28-year-old Theodore Charles Casement III of La Habra, CA and his brother, 22-year-old Shea Casement of Seattle, WA got into a car crash in Josephine County. According to CHP, the two brothers were getting a "courtesy ride to a shelter" from Caveman Towing in Grants Pass when they stole the towing company's courtesy car — a gold 1998 Ford Taurus — and took off.
Troopers with Oregon State Police (OSP) spotted the stolen vehicle and gave chase southbound on I-5 in Josephine County. Around 2:15 p.m., CHP said that they got a call from OSP after the troopers lost sight of the Casements in the stolen vehicle.
The chase resumed when officers from the Talent Police Department caught site of the Casements, still heading south toward California. Receiving word from Jackson County Sheriff's dispatch, CHP said that they got into position at the state line.
Just after 2:45 p.m., CHP troopers took over the southbound pursuit.
"As it continued southbound...the suspect vehicle’s right side tires were gone, riding on just the rims. The suspect vehicle only reached a top speed of 80 MPH during CHP’s short chase," CHP said in a statement.
Just after crossing the Klamath River Bridge on I-5, CHP said that the Casements tried to pass a slower-moving vehicle on the right side. Instead, the suspects lost control of their stolen car and left the roadway, crashing down an embankment.
"The stolen car struck a metal culvert 30 feet down the embankment and came to a stop. The two occupants were taken into custody without further incident," CHP said.
According to the agency, the Casement brother sustained minor injuries in the crash, and a dog who was in the car with them made it through the incident unscathed.
Theodore Casement III was taken into custody and booked into the Siskiyou County Jail following a medical clearance check. CHP did not indicate that his brother, Shea, was arrested.