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Shotgun-wielding farmer nabs suspect in high-speed chase
A vehicle chase that reached 125 mph ended Wednesday in Sutter County when a Fresno man crashed a stolen car into a rural drainage ditch, authorities said.
Alfredo A. Bueno, 37, tried to run from the red 2012 Ford Mustang, but was stopped by a Sutter County farmer with a shotgun who had witnessed the chase and ordered Bueno to get on the ground.
"I don't know what makes a person think they can steal a bright red Mustang in the middle of the day and get away with it," said Sgt. Glen Mercer of the Sutter County Sheriff's Department.
The farmer, who declined to give his name, briefly detained Bueno outside his home in the 3600 block of East Butte Road until authorities arrived. The vehicle was stolen around 10:30 a.m. from the Gridley Country Ford dealership, authorities said.
Bueno and an unidentified woman, described as Bueno's girlfriend, took the Mustang for a test drive with a salesman beforehand, according to dealership owner Curt Engen.
"When they returned, (Bueno) handed back a duplicate Mustang key and kept the real key," Engen said.
The dealership made a copy of a driver's license, but it was not clear if that identification was real. When he was arrested, Bueno told deputies his name was "Omar Steven Abdullah" and investigators found an ID card with that name in his jacket. Deputies also recovered a large roll of cash from the same black jacket.
After passing the bogus key, Bueno said he had to retrieve something from his girlfriend's vehicle outside and took off in the red Mustang, Engen said.
Engen later learned the woman's car, a silver Ford Mustang, was reported stolen from a dealership in Fresno.
"This is highly unusual in Gridley, but apparently it's the MO in the bigger cities," Engen said.
Deputy Robby Wideman spotted both cars around 10:50 a.m. heading south on Highway 99. The deputy followed the cars off the highway before the pursuit started in the vicinity of Greenwood Way and Coats Drive in north Yuba City.
The two vehicles split up down different roads before Wideman's backup arrived. Wideman pursued the red Mustang.
A 10-minute chase ensued down Stabler Lane, Onstott-Frontage Road, Nuestro Road, North Township Road and Tierra Buena Road before the driver crashed into the drainage ditch on East Butte Road, authorities said.
Wideman said the driver reached speeds of about 125 mph and pulled away a few times. Wideman said he decided not to try to keep up with the car for public safety reasons.
The Mustang sustained heavy damage in the crash. Engen said the listed price on the used car was $21,988.
Bueno was booked into the Sutter County Jail on suspicion of evading police and providing false identification. He was not listed as an inmate on Wednesday night, according to the jail's website.
Capt. Lewis McElfresh said deputies will pursue additional charges later today. The sheriff's captain said the stolen vehicle case would be handled by the Gridley-Biggs Police Department.
The female driver of the silver Mustang remains at large.