Carjacking suspect leads officers on chase from Santa Maria to SLO

May 19, 2023


CHP officers arrested a carjacking suspect who led authorities on a chase from Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo on Thursday. 

Ricardo Tapiamedrano, 35, is currently in San Luis Obispo County Jail on felony charges of driving a car without consent and fleeing a peace officer recklessly while driving with disregard, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office website. Tapiamedrano is being held with his bail set at $50,000.

At about 3 p.m., 911 callers reported a man prowling through backyards in northeastern Santa Maria. About 15 minutes later, a man matching the description of the suspect allegedly forced a woman out of her car near Lesley Court. [Tribune]

Tapiamedrano allegedly drove the vehicle from there onto northbound Highway 101. Santa Maria police officers followed him until CHP units arrived.

CHP officers tracked Tapiamedrano on northbound Highway 101 at El Campo Road in Nipomo. They tried to pull over the car he was driving, a Black Jeep Cherokee, at Fourth Street in Pismo Beach. But, Tapiamedrano did not stop.

Tapiamedrano continued driving on Highway 101, weaving in and out of traffic and reaching speeds of up to 90 or 100 mph.

A CHP officer deployed a spike strip around Los Osos Valley Road. Tapiamedrano ran over the spike strip, which caused the front left tire of the stolen vehicle to deflate. The vehicle came to a stop just north of Prado Road.

Officers then took Tapiamedrano into custody. He may face additional charges.

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