Crime

Chase after high Home Depot thieves ends with college lockdown, officer crash, cops say

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Here are some steps that you can take to avoid vehicle break-ins and keep yourself and your belongings safe from thieves.

Three suspected Home Depot thieves, allegedly high on drugs, led Lemoore police on a chase first in a stolen car and then on foot Monday that ended with a college lockdown and an officer crashing a vehicle, police said.

Sean Frain, 26, Heidi Brindle-Alvarez, 43, Samantha Lovett, 23, and an unidentified person are suspected of stealing from the Home Depot in Hanford around 12:23 p.m., according to a police news release. A witness gave their license plate to officers, who discovered it had been stolen out of Visalia, where the three identified suspects live.

Shortly after the alleged theft, Lemoore police saw the car driving west on Highway 198 at 19th Avenue, police said. The driver, Frain, refused to pull over and continued driving toward West Hills College, prompting a lockdown of the school.

The chase continued for 20 minutes, and during that time a Lemoore police officer was involved in a single-vehicle collision. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Frain eventually stopped the car near 13th and Kent avenues and fled with the unidentified person, who was seated in the front passenger seat, police said.

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From left, Samantha Lovett, Heidi Brindle-Alvarez, and Sean Frain, all of Visalia, were arrested after allegedly leading Lemoore police on a chase that caused a lockdown at West Hills College Lemoore. Kings County Sheriff's Office

Brindle-Alvarez and Lovett, who were in the backseat, were arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle, possessing stolen property and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Brindle-Alvarez also had three warrants out of Tulare County, police said. Lovett’s bail was set at $20,000 and Brindle-Alvarez is being held without bail.

After a a foot chase, Frain was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon, possessing a stolen vehicle, possessing stolen property, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He had two warrants out of Tulare County, police said. Frain’s bail was set at $180,000.

The person in the front passenger seat was not found, police said.

Anyone with information on this case can call the Lemoore Police Department at 559-924-9574.

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPanoo
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