On Wednesday, May 31, at about 8:30 am, officers from the Azusa Police Department began tracking a stolen vehicle which was equipped with the LOJAC stolen vehicle warning system. Officers located the vehicle near the 200 block of W. Foothill Boulevard. While the officers were initiating their investigation, they saw Johnny Ray Chavarria (Age 26 from Azusa), enter and drive the vehicle west on Foothill Boulevard.
The officers attempted to stop the vehicle, however, Chavarria led officers on a brief pursuit. The pursuit ended when Chavarria crashed into the front porch of a residence in the 400 block of W. Third Street. Chavarria exited the vehicle and ran into the rear yard of the residence, and jumped over the wall. Assisting police officers flooded the area and established a containment.
Officers from the West Covina Police Department's K9-Team, Irwindale Police Department, and deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) arrived to assist our officers in the search. With the assistance of an LASD helicopter, yards were searched extensively, however, the suspect was not located. After the majority of officers and deputies had left the scene, Chavarria was spotted by some remaining officers, as he tried to exit a yard. As the officers tried to detain Chavarria, he again ran into a rear yard, and out of the officer's sight.
A new containment was established, and the officers, K-9's and helicopter returned to the scene, to complete a second search. While this was happening, the officers received information that a door to a garage of a residence was closed and locked, which was not how it was left earlier in the day. Officers surrounded the garage, and after making several announcements, entered the garage to search for Chavarria.
Officers noticed there were fresh pieces of broken drywall on a vehicle parked in the garage. Chavarria was quickly located in the ceiling. After crawling down from the ceiling, he was safely taken into custody and transported to a local hospital to obtain a booking clearance. Chavarria will be booked for auto theft, evading a peace officer, resisting arrest, vandalism, burglary, and for a no bail warrant, once he is transported to the Azusa Police Department Jail facility.
- Sgt. Bob Chivas