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Driver of stolen big rig leads deputies on a 26-mile high desert pursuit

By in Press Enterprise on February 7, 2018

By Gail Wesson

A 49-year-old Riverside man in a stolen tractor-trailer rig led San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies on a 26-mile pursuit Monday, Feb. 5, near Apple Valley but did not carry out a threat to drive off a cliff, according to a sheriff’s news release.

Eventually a California Highway Patrol unit deployed spike strips that deflated the big rig’s tires. After another 1 1/2 miles suspect James Edgley stopped and was taken into custody near the 15 Freeway and L Street in Barstow just before 8 p.m., according to jail booking records.

The tractor or cab had been reported stolen in Victorville on Saturday, Feb. 3, and the refrigerator trailer had been stolen on Jan. 30 from Hesperia, authorities said. Edgley is known to frequent the Apple Valley area.

The incident began when a deputy tried to stop the stolen rig near Central Road and Standing Rock Road in Apple Valley and the driver failed to yield to emergency vehicles.

The driver drove through the town of Apple Valley and then headed north on the 15 Freeway. Edgley called California Highway Patrol and sheriff’s dispatch centers indicating he was not armed and did not want to hurt anyone and did not want to go back into custody.

The rig’s trailer contained frozen food, which was not kept refrigerated.

Edgley was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and felony evading. He remains in custody at the Adelanto Detention Center. Bail is set at $100,000.

In September 2017, Edgley was placed on post release community supervision from a previous arrest and conviction for vehicle theft

In 2016, he led authorities on a multi-county pursuit in another stolen big rig.

He is suspected in other tractor-trailer thefts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Apple Valley station at 760-240-7400. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7463 or […]    

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