Robber on the loose, Visalia officer in hospital after high-speed chase

  • In US
  • 2022-11-24 17:39:35Z
  • By Visalia Times-Delta | Tulare Advance Register

A Visalia police motorcycle officer is recovering from a tumble after trying to chase down a suspected violent robber.

Just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, a 911 call came in from a Mooney Boulevard Chase Bank customer who claimed he'd been robbed of a cash bag he planned to deposit. The thief fled to a car waiting nearby.

As the call went out over the radio, a motorcycle officer saw the vehicle believed to have been used in the crime. He gave chase and tried to stop the driver who sped north on Mooney onto Highway 198 west near the courthouse. The driver slowed and stopped near the County Center overpass.

The officer approached with his firearm out, and the driver sped off. The officer jumped back on his bike and throttled after the thieves.

"The officer pursued after the suspect vehicle once again and during the pursuit the suspect vehicle initiated an evasive maneuver with their vehicle, striking the officer," Sgt. Art Alvarez said. "The officer collided with the suspect vehicle, which caused the officer to fall off his motorcycle. After the collision with the officer, the suspect vehicle fled the scene at a high rate of speed."

The officer was rushed to Kaweah Health Medical Center. He's expected to live.

Traffic was congested for hours as police investigated. Not far from the scene, a car caught fire and backed up traffic farther down 198.

The thieves remain on the loose. Officers are looking for a silver four-door car. No description of the suspected criminals was given.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the hit-and-run. Visalia's Violent Crimes Unit detectives are looking into the robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call 713-4104.

This article originally appeared on Visalia Times-Delta: Visalia officer injured, violent robbery suspect at large after chase


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