Roseville rooftop arrest follows Auburn riding-mower theft, chase

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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A riding lawnmower theft at North Auburn’s Home Depot led to a high-speed chase on Interstate 80, a crash, a foot pursuit and an arrest of a Manteca man on a Roseville rooftop.

The series of unusual events started late Wednesday afternoon after the Placer County Sheriff’s Office was alerted by Home Depot staff that a man in a pickup and trailer had taken off from the North Auburn store with a stolen riding lawnmower.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that a deputy sighted a truck and trailer soon afterward that matched the Home Depot description. But flashing lights and a siren were unable to convince the driver to pull over to the side of Highway 49.

Instead, the truck, trailer and riding lawn mower sped off toward Interstate 80 and then kept on going, traveling west another 15 miles.

The driver and cargo turned north onto Highway 65 and fled on foot toward the Creekside Town Center on Roseville’s Galleria Boulevard after the truck crashed into a center divider.

Deputies established a perimeter around the shopping center and found the suspect on a rooftop behind the Best Buy store, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Arrested was 43-year-old Gordon Dwight Bryan Jr.

The Sheriff’s Office said that a search following Bryan’s arrest found a wallet with a driver’s license and social security card belonging to a person other than Bryan, resulting in more charges on the arrest log.

And the pickup Bryan was driving turned out to be reported stolen, along with another vehicle’s license plates.

And Bryan was also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Plus, a check on Bryan found that he was wanted on warrants in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties and Nevada.

Bryan is charged with auto theft, reckless evading from a peace officer, possession of stolen property, displaying stolen license plates, hit and run, driving while impaired, and identity theft, the Sheriff’s Office said. He is not eligible for bail, the Sheriff’s Office added.