One arrested, one evades capture in South County chase

January 18, 2017
Tobin Dietze

Tobin Dietze

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies chased two alleged gang members Tuesday from rural Arroyo Grande to Pismo Beach. During the chase, the suspects ran stops signs and red lights and crashed into several vehicles.

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force members tried to pull over Dietze and Smith, who were inside a black Cadillac SUV near the intersection of Highway 1 and Halcyon Road. The deputies were attempting to arrest Dietze and Smith, known gang members, for outstanding felony arrest warrants, according to the sheriff’s office.

Instead of pulling over, the suspects drove north on Halcyon Road. The chase continued into the East Village of Arroyo Grande and over surface streets to the James Way area in Pismo Beach.

While in the Arroyo Grande area, the Cadillac hit a vehicle. The accident only caused minor damage, and no one suffered injuries. The Cadillac then reached speeds above 80 mph while approaching the Pismo Outlet Mall.

Because of safety concerns, deputies called off the car chase.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Shortly afterwards, the chase resumed with a helicopter following the suspects. The suspects then crashed into a vehicle at Dolliver Street and Stimson Avenue in Pismo Beach. The driver of that car suffered minor injuries.

After the second crash, the two suspects fled on foot and gang task force members, sheriff’s patrol deputies, CHP officers, probation officers, state parks personnel and Pismo Beach police converged on the area.

The searched netted Tobin Dietze, 41, of Santa Margarita. Deputies booked Dietz into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of having an outstanding warrant, carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia with his bail set at $160,000.

San Luis Obispo resident Derek Smith, 31, evaded capture and remains on the loose.

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How could a gang member hide out in Santa Margarita?

So a helicopter, deputies, CHP, Probation, State Parks and police couldn’t catch one dimwit on foot?

That doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the local law enforcement.

Maybe police dogs could have helped. Oh, never mind.

How many times have we seen pictures of miscreants with tattoos on their faces?

How does Smith blend in with those tats unless he is in New Zealand?