An alleged car thief is in jail after being chased out of a home that he tried to hide in as officers closed in, Visalia police said.
John Henry Rivas, 27, allegedly stole a 2003 Kia Spectra but when police tried to pull him over Jan. 7 near Walnut Avenue and Giddings Street, he didn’t stop and led police on a short pursuit.
He abandoned the car near Whitendale Avenue and Central Street and escaped.
About 9:23 a.m. Tuesday, officers from the Tulare County Regional Auto Theft Task Force spotted him near Mineral King Avenue and Cain Street, but he ignored orders and ran away.
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As officers chased him, he removed a bulletproof vest he was wearing and threw it to the ground. Sgt. Damon Maurice said it he did not have it attached correctly and tossed it to gain mobility.
He went into a home through an unlocked front door, but “the homeowner became agitated and ran him out of the house,” Maurice said.
Rivas then hid in an abandoned home, where he was caught.
Rivas was booked into the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on suspicion of car theft, felony evading, residential burglary, resisting arrest and probation violation.