The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 09-26-2021 an Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed a red Ford Ranger with a camper shell traveling westbound on Highway 20 in Willits, California.
The Deputy had knowledge the truck was possibly stolen from Lake County earlier in the day.
The Deputy saw the vehicle make a U-turn on Highway 20 and begin traveling eastbound on Highway 20. The Deputy also turned around and went to conduct a traffic stop on the truck when it abruptly turned northbound on Pepperwood Way.
The truck came to a quick stop and the driver, later identified as Joshua Colcleaser, exited the driver’s seat and ran westbound.
The Deputy, verbally identified himself and told Colcleaser to stop. Colcleaser did not stop and continued running westbound.
Other Sheriff’s Deputies along with personnel from the Willits Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol responded to the area. After a search of the area on foot they were unable to locate Colcleaser in the brush.
The Ford Ranger was confirmed to have been stolen on 09-26-2021 from a location in Lake County. The registered owner (54 year old victim) responded to Willits and took custody of his truck. Inside the the truck, the Deputy located numerous items which did not belong to the victim.
The items included a purse with credit and debit cards in the name of a 36 year-old female from Ukiah, California. The Deputy confirmed the purse and contents had been stolen in Ukiah on 09-26-2021. The incident had been reported to Ukiah Police Department.
The Deputy located two plastic bags containing suspected methamphetamine, on the front passenger seat, and two used glass pipes in the vehicle, commonly used to ingest controlled substances. Also inside the truck was a box of ammunition, a cellular phone, a drone, a brown wallet, and a hunting license in another person’s name from the Bay Area.
MCSO and WPD began getting calls regarding Colcleaser’s location on Highway 20.
WPD located Colcleaser and detained him. The Deputy responded and positively identified Colcleaser as the person who ran from the truck. Colcleaser was arrested on the listed charges to include to out of county felony arrest warrants for possession of a stolen vehicle.
While fleeing on foot Colcleaser had sustained injures and was transported to the Hospital for treatment.
Colcleaser was subsequently transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and to be held on a No Bail status.