SANTA ROSA (BCN) — A Santa Rosa teen who may be connected to multiple car thefts in the city was arrested on Saturday afternoon after leading police on a chase near downtown Santa Rosa, police said.

The suspect, later identified at 19-year-old Santa Rosa resident Mark Niswander, was spotted by a Santa Rosa police detective at about 4 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Santa Rosa Avenue and Kawana Springs Road driving a reported stolen vehicle, Santa Rosa police Sgt. David Linscomb said in a report.

Officers tried to stop the stolen car, but Niswander evaded police and a pursuit began down Kawana Springs Road and through The Meadows apartment complex on Meadow View Way, Linscomb said.

While leading the pursuit through the apartment complex, the stolen vehicle crashed through a chain barricade and caused several of the posts that supported the fence to become uprooted, Linscomb said.

One of those flying posts struck a female bystander, he said. She was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released.

After crashing through the apartment complex, Niswander led officers behind stores in the Santa Rosa Market Place shopping center, Linscomb said. The pursuit ended when the stolen car stopped at a gated footpath on the northern edge of the shopping center, near Colgan Creek, he said.

Niswander then jumped out of the stolen car and continued the chase on foot, trying to hide from officers in the laundry room of a nearby mobile home park near the intersection of Santa Rosa and Colgan avenues, Linscomb said.

Police found Niswander after a short search of the area and took him into custody, Linscomb said. He was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital before being booked into jail, he said.

Officers found stolen property from earlier thefts both on Niswander and in the vehicle involved in the pursuit, Linscomb said. A stun gun was among the recovered items, he said.

There was also a passenger in the stolen vehicle that was involved in the pursuit, Linscomb said, but that person stayed with the car after Niswander fled on foot and was merely detained, then released later.

Niswander was booked on charges of felony evading a police vehicle, driving a stolen vehicle, two counts of possessing a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, violation of felony probation and being a felon in possession of a stun gun, Linscomb said.

Police believe that the stolen vehicle Niswander was caught driving is connected to two other car thefts that occurred earlier Saturday in the residential area along Santa Rosa Avenue just south of the downtown area, Linscomb said.

Officers and a field evidence technician investigating the robberies were an hour into handling the recovery of the first reported stolen car when they learned that a second vehicle – the one used in the afternoon pursuit – had been taken from in front of a residence in the area of Santa Rosa Avenue and Oak Street, Linscomb said.

A third stolen vehicle was also found abandoned in the same residential area on Saturday, Linscomb said. All of the stolen cars were Honda Civics and Accords, he said.

Anyone with any information about the vehicle thefts is encouraged to call the Santa Rosa Police Department Property Crimes Investigations Team at (707) 543-3575.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report)

Comments (12)
  1. Henry says:

    Thank you to the officers for getting another dirtbag off the streets. Do inmates get turkey dinners?

    1. JumpinJackFlash says:

      Henry; Go Get Arrested Next Thanksgiving And Find Out.

    2. Thinka Boutit says:

      Yeah, with sausages…

  2. ed well says:

    Great – put people’s lives at risk, almost seriously injure a woman, so you can put the cuffs on some punk teenager. There must be a smarter way to catch these crooks. Police chases kill 300 innocent people in the US each year.

    1. Rick says:

      no. police chases do not kill. Felons fleeing the police do.
      What should we do instead? Sniper teams? Can’t use tasers, your ilk demands those be not used as well.

      “Punk” teenager was willing to endanger innocents after MULTIPLE thefts. HE IS AT FAULT. Any damage or death is the FAULT OF THE FLEEING SUSPECT no matter what bleeding hearts and fellow gang members want to say

    2. Thinka Boutit says:

      Sure, don’t release them on parole.

    3. grady guinee says:

      ok let him go next time so he can steal your car and run over your friends.
      and if you are so wise you can tell the police what to do and how to manifest some magic to catch the punk.
      what they can do is lock him up for 25 years and then you dont have to worry about him
      only the bleeding hearts that blame the police for everything

  3. annamarie says:

    He is not a punk teenager, he is a 19 year old ADULT and with all those felony charges against him, I hope he goes away for along time! What are the police suppose to do, ring their doorbell and see if they are home? I have friends who are police officers, maybe you should live in their shoes for a day. They put their life on the line to keep us safe. People complain about them, but when they are’t around, then the same people complain about them not being around when you need them. Sorry, I guess I am just tired of people always pointing fingers at our police officers. You break the law, go to jail and whatever it takes for the police to arrest these bums and get them off the streets, I am all for it. I appluad the police department….

    1. grady guinee says:

      good for you annamarie. you are right.
      the police risk their life to keep us safe. yes there is danger in what they do but it is caused by the person evading and acting with criminal intent
      the police i know are always looking for a better way to do things so when they learn of ways to stop crime they will do what they can.
      at least in america. some people have no idea of how good the police are in ameerica.
      try going to mexico or some third world country and compllain

  4. Little Piggie says:

    Hey, what about an assault charge for the person hit by the fence posts?

  5. chuyo 649 says:

    19 years old and you call him a teen? give me a break! another bad seed off the streets but for how long?

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