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Willits Woman Arrested a Second Time Within Three Days for Vehicle Theft

Eryka Smith [Picture from the Mendocino County Sheriff Booking Logs]

On March 1, 2021 at approximately 9:39 AM, UPD Dispatch received a report of a vehicle that had just been stolen from in front of 709 N. State St. An Officer responded  to contact the victim while other Officers began checking the area for the vehicle.  Officers learned the victim left his vehicle running, parked in front of the business and  went inside the business to conduct a brief transaction. The victim believed he locked the  vehicle. Upon exiting the business, he saw the vehicle was gone. A BOLO (Be On the  Look Out) for the stolen vehicle was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies. 

Utilizing a cellphone app the location of the vehicle was learned. The vehicle’s location  information was provided to Lake County area CHP Officers, as the vehicle appeared to  be traveling eastbound on Highway 175. 

A Lake County area CHP Officer located the stolen vehicle traveling eastbound on  Highway 29, toward Kelseyville and attempted to conduct an enforcement stop on the  vehicle. The vehicle’s driver failed to yield and a vehicle pursuit ensued at a high rate of  speed. During the pursuit, CHP deployed a “spike strip” (tire deflation device) as the  vehicle passed the CHP substation located in Kelseyville. The vehicle continued  eastbound and subsequently struck a guardrail and overturned, coming to rest in a  construction zone. Eryka Smith was found to be the driver of the vehicle. She sustained  injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Due to her medical  condition, she was issued a citation to appear in court for violations of 10851(a) CVC – Vehicle theft, 2800.2(a) CVC – Reckless evading, 487a PC -Grand theft and 12500(a) CVC – Unlicensed driver by CHP. Her canine was housed at a local animal shelter. Smith was subsequently released from the hospital.  

This was the second time Smith had been contacted in a stolen vehicle within the past  three days. UPD Officers arrested Smith for 496d(a) PC – Possession of a stolen vehicle  on 02-27-21.  

UPD would like to thank the CHP for their assistance in apprehending Smith. 

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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