A robbery in northwest Fresno set off a chain of events that ended in three arrests and may have led to a crash on Highway 99 in Madera County.
It began about 12:15 p.m. with a robbery in the 9800 block of Golden State Avenue in Fresno. As the suspects drove off, the victim managed to get in his vehicle and chase them.
Within a few minutes, the victim was following the suspects, two men and a woman. The alleged robbers then stopped at Avenue 7 near Highway 99 and fled into a field in different directions.
Madera County sheriff’s investigators, the California Highway Patrol and a Fresno County Sheriff’s Office helicopter joined the search for the suspects, along with K-9 officers from Fresno Police Department, said Madera County sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Ward.
The collision happened possibly because of law enforcement presence.
Commander Bill Ward, Madera County Sheriff’s Office
As the search continued, traffic on northbound Highway 99 was stopped for about an hour. During the search, an accident on southbound Highway 99 also briefly brought traffic to a standstill, the CHP reported.
“The collision happened possibly because of law enforcement presence,” Ward said, suggesting that motorists may have been observing police activity.
The crash caused one minor injury, according Emergency Medical Services officials.
About 2:15 p.m. all three suspects were in custody. Their identities weren’t immediately known, Ward said.