GPS app helped track Thunder Valley robbery suspect
A smart phone application was part of the undoing for a robbery suspect who took police on a chase on Interstate 80 Friday morning.
The incident began around 6 a.m. when deputies from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department responded to a strong-arm robbery call at Thunder Valley Casino. A woman at the casino reported that a large man accosted her and forcibly took her purse. Sheriff’s officials said the woman briefly struggled with her assailant before he fled in a black sedan.
Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Swearingen said deputies conducted an on-site investigation, which led to a detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle. “They were able to get a pretty good idea of the vehicle and what he looked like,” Swearingen said. The deputies were also able to pinpoint the region where the suspect had fled using a GPS-tracking application on her phone, which was still in the stolen purse. Placer County Sheriff’s deputies notified the Sacramento Police Department about a specific neighborhood the GPS data suggested their suspect might be in.
According to Sacramento Police spokesman Doug Morris, Sacramento police officers made a check of that area, spotting the vehicle near Interstate 80 and Watt Avenue. When officers attempted to pull it over, the sedan sped away, triggering a vehicle pursuit on eastbound 80.
“At one point, the suspect tried to get off the freeway going the wrong direction on the Riverside off-ramp,” Morris said.
That suspect was Jesus Arturo Gutierrez, 38, of Woodland. Sacramento police officers and a Sacramento County Sheriff’s K-9 handler cornered Gutierrez on the shoulder of Interstate 80 below Riverside Avenue after he jumped out of his sedan.
“He was captured with a K-9 deployment,” Morris confirmed.
Once Gutierrez was in custody, officers called an ambulance to deal with his bleeding arm. He was taken by law enforcement and medical personnel to a nearby treatment center for medical clearance.
Gutierrez is facing felony charges of assault and robbery for the incident at Thunder Valley Casino, as well as a felony charge of evading peace officers. He is also being held on an immigration hold.