SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) — San Rafael car thieves staged a chaotic escape from a harbor and evaded arrest by swimming away, according to police and witnesses.
The San Rafael Police Department said Monday that detectives are still trying to identify and find two thieves who rammed an officer with a stolen Mercedes.
The incident began on December 8 at 4:45 p.m. at a Mercedes auto dealership on Francisco Boulevard West. A man walked into the dealership service center’s garage and stole a customer’s 2021 black Mercedes GLS450 SUV, police said.
Later that night, the Mercedes’ GPS application tipped off police that the stolen SUV was entering the San Rafael Yacht Harbor.
“An officer in the area entered the parking lot of the yacht harbor, immediately located the vehicle, and drove in behind it to make a car stop. The officer exited and stood behind the driver’s door of the police car to give the suspect commands. While the officer was giving commands, the vehicle suddenly accelerated in reverse toward the officer and collided with the driver’s door of the police car, pinning, and injuring the officer,” SRPD Sgt. Justin Graham wrote.
Backup officers arrived and blocked the SUV from exiting the harbor. The car thief then rammed the SUV into another police car. A woman was sitting in the stolen SUV’s passenger seat.
“After coming to a dead-end, the vehicle turned around again and came back toward officers and police cars at a high rate of speed. The suspect was driving back toward the injured officer, who was limping and trying to get out of the way. Two officers ran to the aid of the injured officer and placed themselves between the advancing suspect vehicle and the injured officer with their firearms pointed toward the suspect,” Graham wrote.
The man reversed the SUV and officers lost sight of the suspects in the harbor, police said.
Witnesses told officers that the man and woman bolted out of the SUV and ran toward a boat dock.
Another witness reported that the suspects may have jumped into the water and swam away. Officers established a perimeter around the harbor, but they were unable to find the man and woman.
Both suspects are now wanted for felony assault on an officer, felony assault with a deadly weapon, evading police, and vehicle theft, police said. One suspect was described as a Black man who is 6-feet-tall, has shoulder-length dreadlocks, and is between 25-40 years old.
The injured officer was taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The officer is expected to make a full recovery.