Man steals Cal Fire vehicle, flees deputies at 100 mph


A Nevada man stole a Cal Fire vehicle in Northern California on Friday and led law enforcement on a chase that reached speeds of about 100 mph. 

The suspect stole a Cal fire utility vehicle from Highway 89 in the McCloud area, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. At about 1:11 p.m., Cal Fire law enforcement personnel notified Siskiyou deputies that they were following the stolen vehicle on northbound Interstate 5 through the Yreka area. 

Deputies arrived at Interstate 5 near the Miner Street exit, where they located the stolen Cal Fire vehicle and tried to conduct a traffic stop. The driver, later identified as 35-year-old Fernley Jeremy Austin Estep, refused to stop and rapidly accelerated, reaching speeds of about 100 mph while trying to evade deputies. 

Estep continued driving erratically, crossing over the center divider and heading southbound on Interstate 5 before leaving the freeway and entering Yreka. The chase continued into the area of North View Drive in Yreka, where Estep exited the vehicle and fled by foot.

Deputies pursued Estep on foot and soon caught him. Authorities arrested Estep and booked him in the Siskiyou County Jail on charges of felony evading, felony auto theft and misdemeanor resisting arrest.