Man in sequined party mask steals car, catches vehicle on fire after crashing into pile of bark


 A wild chase in northwest Fresno ended with a stolen car in flames. The suspect was still on the loose Wednesday night.

He crashed a stolen Dodge Charger near Highway 99 and Ashlan.

Lt. Joe Gomez said it started at the Auto City car dealership at Shawn and Blythe, about a mile and a half away, and ended with the car coming to rest and eventually catching fire on top of a giant pile of bark. 

Gomez said it started around 5:10 p.m. “We got a call of an African American male at Shaw and Blythe. He was kicking the window of a business,” he said.

Shortly after, the man, barefoot wearing a sequined masquerade mask, crossed the street and approached a group at Auto City.

“They were showing a family this vehicle and it looks like the suspect pushed the family out of the way jumped in the car, because the keys were in there, they were showing it to them and he took off,” Gomez said. 

The he said two employees hopped in a truck and started following the suspect. 

“The workers chased him for some time,” Gomez said, “He was driving crazy down Shaw, going up on the shoulder, very reckless. The workers that were chasing him think he might have hit vehicles there.”

The employees lost the stolen vehicle then finally caught up to it after the crash. According to witnesses the suspect ran off, heading west across the busy highway.

Police said fortunately no one was hurt. They are still looking for the suspect. He’s described as African American, with longer hair, dark clothes, and possibly barefoot. Anyone with information is asked to give police a call. 

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