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Busy Lodi officer helps net three suspects, two stolen cars

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:25 pm

A Lodi police officer sped around town and even into the depths of Stockton, pursuing multiple cars reported on Tuesday night. By the night’s end, droves of law enforcement officials seized two cars — one pulled from a ditch — and arrested three suspects in Lodi.

Officer Nick Welton was en route to Sonora Street — the scene of a stolen Honda — at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted a vehicle fitting the description of the stolen car driving south on Hutchins Street. Welton followed the car, and when he tried to stop the vehicle, it fled.

Welton reported that the Honda’s driver led him on a chase deep into Stockton as he waited for other units to join the pursuit, said Lt. Chris Jacobson of the Lodi Police Department.

But no Stockton police officers were in the area, so Welton decided to end the pursuit for safety reasons and return to Lodi, Jacobson said.

Shortly after reaching the city limits, Welton spotted another Honda — the one reported stolen from Sonora Street earlier that night, Jacobson said.

Welton turned on to Harney Street and started following the car, which pulled into a dirt lot. There, the Honda stopped, and two men allegedly jumped out and fled, Jacobson said. Welton apprehended the only suspect left in the vehicle, Kayla Brewer, 23, at gunpoint, Jacobson said.

Because of the earlier pursuit, members of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol were nearby and helped chase the two remaining suspects.

Within minutes, Jacobson said, CHP officers found Levi Friedli, 25, hiding in a chicken coup. Later, Lodi Police Officer Eric Bradley spotted the other suspect, Jacobson said. Officers converged and arrested the suspected driver, Joshua Grinstead, 24.

As police wrapped up their investigation, a deputy spotted a car lying in a ditch less than a block away. Police approached and discovered it was the Honda that Welton had chased into Stockton earlier that night, Jacobson said.

It was unoccupied, and police towed it away.

Brewer, Friedli and Grinstead were booked into San Joaquin County Jail on Wednesday. Brewer is being held without bail on charges of theft as well as several outstanding warrants. Friedli is being held on $23,000 bail on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

Grinstead is being held without bail on charges of taking a vehicle without consent, possessing a master key and violating parole.

Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at krisa@lodinews.com.

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