Suspects in Marijuana Ripoff Fled South on 101 and Across Hwy 20 Followed by Deputies
According to the farmer who wished to remain anonymous, “I had just been in my garden five minutes before…I had broke the cord to my scale so I decided to head to town…I saw there were people in my garden.” He said he stopped to confront them.
“There were three or four black males wearing hoodies with these biker style face wraps,” he explained. “One had a white hoodie with white fabric across his face with a skull print on it. One may have been a female.” He described seeing a white SUV (“2015 or newer”) with black rims and no license plate. (Law enforcement later added that it had a white sticker in the rear window.)
The farmer called law enforcement requesting assistance as the thieves fled with plants sticking out of their vehicle. “I chased them out onto 101 towards Willits,” the farmer said. “I called the police as I was still on my property.”
The farmer followed until he lost sight of them.
The deputies and officers with the California Highway Patrol caught sight of the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The suspects continued fleeing at a high rate of speed.
“Apparently they are throwing marijuana out the window,” said one officer just before 3 p.m. over the scanner as the suspect vehicle took the Willits Bypass.
A spike strip was ordered to be set up on Hwy 101 near the Hwy 20 exit but the suspect vehicle managed to get off 101 and onto Hwy 20. The driver continued to speed up to 100 miles per hour, according to officers’ reports over the scanner. Officers repeatedly lost sight of the vehicle.
The driver continued at speeds of up to 100 mph and traveled into Lake County where the suspect driver went through oncoming traffic in the construction zone at Blue Lakes, according to traffic over the scanner. The CHP and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office discontinued pursuit.
Meanwhile, the farmer reports when he examined his garden he found that the thieves appeared to have been unprepared for and uneducated about their task. They didn’t just top plants going for the more lucrative colas but, instead, they attempted to take the entire thing. The farmer explained. “They ripped a couple rootballs out.”
The few plants they got were small. The farmer said that as the thieves were fleeing, he could see they had at least one plant sticking out of the back of their vehicle. He said, “I thought, ‘Oh man, they took that one?'”
We’ve attempted to reach the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to gather more information but they have not yet responded.
The farmer told us that he was told by a friend who was on Hwy 20 that the suspect vehicle may have sideswiped a car and almost ran over the flagger in the construction zone on Hwy 20. However, that hasn’t been confirmed to us by a witness or official reports.