Car Thief Wisely Changes His Mind About Attacking Police Officer
An exciting event started with Wednesday in Madera with a car chase in a stolen vehicle and finished when a police officer shocked a man with a stun gun, the Police Department stated. Police video showed the end of the pursuit and a man they identified as Curtis Kirkland stepped out of the still-moving vehicle. As the vehicle rolled away out of control, Kirkland raised his arm “as if he was pointing a gun” at the officer, police said in a news release.
Kirkland “then charged the patrol car,” officers said. Kirkland, however, quickly turned around and ran from the officer, the video shows. A short foot chase ended when the officer deployed his stun gun. Police said Kirkland was wanted on multiple warrants out of Fresno County charging him with assaulting a correctional officer and burglary. Investigators said they also found heroin in the stolen vehicle.
Dash-cam video on the patrol car of officer Ryan Vasquez shows the suspect, later identified as Curtis Kirkland, raising his hand “as if he was pointing a gun,” according to a post made Wednesday on Madera Police Department’s Facebook account. Kirkland strides toward Vasquez’s car, then quickly turns and runs as the officer emerges from his vehicle, Taser gun in hand. Vasquez chases the suspect on foot and, out of the video’s frame, subdues Kirkland with the less-lethal electrical weapon, police said. Police said Kirkland had warrants from Fresno County for burglary and assault on a custodial officer. In addition, heroin was found in the stolen car, police said. Kirkland was booked into jail in Madera County.
The FBI take in the theft or tried theft of automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles and other form of vehicles in its explanation of motor vehicle theft. About $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in the year of 2017. The average dollar loss per theft was $7,707. Motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 237.5 per 100,000 people in 2017, virtually unchanged from 237.5 in 2016 but down 24.7 percent from 2008. In 2017, 773,138 vehicles were stolen, up 0.8 percent from 767,292 vehicles in 2016. One motor vehicle theft was reported every 40.8 seconds in the United States in 2017.
Vehicle thefts have been trending downward in the 26 years since they peaked at 1.7 million in 1991, falling about 55 percent to 773,139 in 2017, according to the FBI. The National Insurance Crime Bureau credits law enforcement struggles, along with the formation of detailed anti-theft programs, advanced technology and insurance company-supported organizations such as the NICB for contributing to the theft drop. Preliminary data from the FBI show that in the first half of 2018, vehicle thefts decreased by another 3.31 percent.