Deputies seek man who escaped after pursuit

08/20/2010 1:20 AM

08/20/2010 2:24 AM

Merced County sheriff's deputies are on the lookout for a 39-year-old man who escaped on foot after a vehicle pursuit Thursday.

The pursuit began around 3:05 p.m. after deputies received tips Andrew Roggero had been stealing copper wire from the El Nido area, said deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.

Members of the AG STAR Team staked out a residence in Merced to search for Roggero, who was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for narcotics. He was seen leaving in a 1994 green Chevy Silverado truck.

When AG STAR detectives tried to initiate a vehicle stop, Roggero sped away. The chase lasted around 30 minutes, reaching high speeds until Roggero went off road into an orchard in the 5000 block of Plainsburg Road near Planada.

Deputies lost Roggero in the dust, although a California Highway Patrol plane later found his truck abandoned, not far from where the pursuit ended. Deputies searched the area with K9 dogs, but were unable to find the suspect.

MacKenzie said copper wiring was found in the back of the truck Roggero was driving.

Roggero is described as a white male, around 5 feet, 11 inches, 200 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.

Deputies are asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call (209) 385-7444. Calls are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or

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