Man-goes down for alleged fruit theft, high speed pursuit

The suspect was apprehended following a chase and a rollover

A shoplifting from Costco resulted in a high-speed police pursuit that ended when the driver flipped his vehicle on Atlin Drive Sunday afternoon.

Stephen Ray Ulrich, 32, was arrested for theft, reckless driving, failure to stop at direction of peace officer, driving without a license, violating conditions of release, and two counts of assault. There was also a $5,000 dollar felony warrant for failure to comply with the conditions of probation.

“Just before noon, we got a call from Costco saying there were three males leaving Costco after shoplifting some items,” Lt. Krag Campbell of the Juneau Police Department said in a phone interview.

The items in question were mangoes worth approximately $17, Campbell said.

After JPD responded to the shoplifting call, an officer spotted Ulrich leaving the area in an vehicle and attempted to stop the car, but Ulrich accelerated away, Campbell said.

“Based on our policy, the officer deactivated his lights and stopped pursuit,” Campbell said.

But when Ulrich continued to drive recklessly and endangering others — including driving down a bike path, Campbell said — the officer decided to pursue the car again.

“The officer determined the vehicle was dangerous and a threat to the community,” Campbell said.

The officer pursued Ulrich to the Atlin Drive, near the Mendenhall Mall area, where Ulrich flipped his car. Attempting to escape on foot, Campbell said, officers told Ulrich to stop. When he continued to try to escape, officers tasered him, which didn’t slow him down, and then used batons. He was taken into custody and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Campbell said Ulrich’s injuries, sustained during his crash and apprehension, were minor. No officers or other members of the public were injured during the pursuit.

“He created this huge public safety risk to steal mangoes,” Campbell said. “He committed felonies to get away from a misdemeanor.”

The other two individuals wanted in connection with the shoplifting have not been located, Campbell said.


• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.


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