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Man accused of fleeing on stolen tractor arraigned


Monday, March 24th, 2014
Issue 13, Volume 18.
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MURRIETA - A probationer who allegedly stole a tractor in Lake Elsinore and attempted to elude sheriff's deputies by driving into fields and plowing through fences was charged today with auto theft and other felonies.

German Diaz Avalos, 25, of Perris was arrested Monday following a slow-speed pursuit that began around midnight and ended roughly a half-hour later.

Along with the theft count, Avalos was charged with reckless driving and vandalism. He appeared before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Freer, who appointed him a public defender, scheduled an April 1 felony settlement conference and set bail at $100,000.

According to Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Kaas, the defendant was spotted driving a Caterpillar Skid Steer Tractor eastbound on state Route 74 with no lights, prompting a deputy to attempt a traffic stop.

Avalos allegedly ignored the patrol unit and continued along 74 for a brief period before cutting across a field at Conrad Avenue and Third Street, Kaas said.

"The tractor drove through three fences in an attempt to evade the sheriff's helicopter overhead," the sergeant said.

He said Avalos drove north toward the El Toro Cutoff but abandoned the rig before reaching the dirt roadway. He fled on foot but was apprehended within minutes, Kaas said.

According to court records, Avalos has a separate case pending from last July with almost identical allegations. Records indicate he has a misdemeanor driving under the influence conviction from 2010, for which he was sentenced to probation.


Man Allegedly Steals Tractor, Tries to Flee from Deputies

LAKE ELSINORE - A man was arrested today for allegedly stealing a tractor in Lake Elsinore and attempting to elude sheriff's deputies by driving into fields and plowing through fences.

German Diaz Avalos, 25, of Perris is suspected of leading deputies on a slow-speed pursuit that began around midnight and ended roughly a half-hour later.

According to Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Kaas, Avalos was spotted driving a Caterpillar Skid Steer Tractor eastbound on state Route 74 with no lights, prompting a deputy to attempt a traffic stop.

The suspect allegedly ignored the patrol unit and continued along the highway for a brief period before cutting across a field at Conrad Avenue and Third Street.

"The (driver of the) tractor drove through three fences in an attempt to evade the sheriff's helicopter overhead," the sergeant alleged.

According to Kaas, Avalos drove north toward the El Toro Cutoff Road but abandoned the rig before reaching the dirt roadway. He fled on foot but was apprehended within minutes, Kaas said.

Avalos was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, receiving stolen property and felony evading. He was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.


 

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