Repeat auto theft suspect found hiding in trash can after three north Modesto crashes

A repeat auto theft suspect attempting to get away from police on Wednesday intentionally rammed one vehicle and hit another while fleeing. After a third collision he was found hiding in a trash can.

Detectives with the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force spotted the suspect driving a stolen 2003 Acura MDX in the area of State Route 219 and Dale Road in Modesto around noon Wednesday, said Detective Kyle Briggs.

They followed it to a parking lot on Sisk Road near the Ross Dress For Less where the driver parked in a stall.

Briggs said StanCATT detectives began surrounding the vehicle after the suspect had turned the car off but when he saw them he started it again and drove forward, ramming the occupied vehicle in the stall in front of him.

The impact pushed the victim’s vehicle back enough to give the suspect room to maneuver around it and drive out of the parking lot and north on Sisk at high speeds.

He collided with another vehicle at Sisk and Pelandale Avenue. Briggs said no one was injured in either collision.

The suspect continued east on Pelandale.

Briggs said officers were not in pursuit of him but drove in the direction he fled and found the Acura unoccupied at Pelandale and Prescott Road.

The suspect had crashed into a sound wall on the northeast corner of the intersection.

Modesto Police and California Highway Patrol Officers and a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department K9 deputy assisted in the search for the suspect in a subdivision north of Pelandale.

Briggs said K9 Mojo found the suspect, 41-year-old Christopher Barrett, hiding in a trash can on Fresh Air Place.

Barrett refused to surrender and Mojo was sent to apprehend him. The dog pulled Barrett from the trash can.

Barrett was medically cleared at a Modesto hospital and arrested on suspicion of felony auto theft, possessing a stolen vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of misdemeanor hit and run and probation violation. Briggs said Barrett had a warrant for his arrest for auto theft and was on probation for auto theft.