(KRON) — Three suspected robbers led police on a 100-mph high-speed chase down Highway 101 through Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and Petaluma Thursday night. Police used a spike strip and PIT maneuver to finally end the chase near the Sonoma County line.
The three arrested men were identified by the Santa Rosa Police Department as James Edward Vines, 21, of Vallejo; Ettievy Coats, 23, of Vallejo; and Gregory Garcia, 23, of San Francisco.
The incident began as an armed robbery at a Safeway grocery store at 2785 Yulupa Ave. in Santa Rosa.
Police said three men dressed in ski masks stole several baskets full of merchandise before darting out of the store. When confronted by a clerk outside, the men brandished handguns and threatened to shoot the clerk, according to SRPD.
The group fled in a vehicle described as a “black lowered sedan with tinted windows,” SRPD wrote.
Officers rapidly responded into the surrounding area and spotted the sedan entering southbound Highway 101 from the Highway 12 interchange. The black sedan accelerated quickly away from police and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
“The pursuit continued southbound on Highway 101 for several miles, reaching speeds over 100 mph. A request was made for allied agencies to assist with the pursuit, which continued past the cities of Rohnert Park and Petaluma,” SRPD wrote.
Midchase, a backpack containing a handgun, 30-round magazine, and ammunition was thrown out of the sedan’s window, police said.
As the pursuit continued toward the county line, spike strips were deployed, disabling both driver-side tires. The fleeing robbers continued driving on deflated tires before a PIT (Police Intervention Technique) was performed, bringing the sedan to a halt, according to police.
Inside the sedan, police said they found $1,000 worth of stolen merchandise from the Safeway store, as well as items stolen during prior store burglaries in Santa Rosa.
The trio was booked into a Sonoma County Jail for the following offenses: Robbery, felony evading, conspiracy, firearms possession, and possession of an unregistered firearm.