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Sun, Nov. 17

Sedona man charged with auto theft after pursuit

James Capobianco Jr.

James Capobianco Jr.

SEDONA -- Coconino County Sheriff's deputies arrested James Capobianco Jr.,46, of Sedona Tuesday evening. He is charged with auto theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, unlawful flight from a law officer, aggravated DUI on a suspended license, and reckless driving.

At 7:06 p.m. the Sheriff's Office received the report of the theft of a 1969 Chevrolet pickup from the owner's residence located off SR 89A in Oak Creek Canyon. A deputy spotted the vehicle headed north bound on 89A near the Pinedale Subdivision. A second deputy and a DPS officer were stopped on 89A near the entrance to Fort Tuthill. As the stolen vehicle and the trailing deputy passed, the second deputy and DPS officer fell in behind.

The suspect then passed the entrance to the Mountain Dell subdivision and one deputy observed the speed to be about 70 mph. Deputies turned on their emergency lights and siren but the suspect failed to yield and accelerated while making a right turn on Lake Mary Road. The truck then turned onto West High County squealing its tires as it negotiated that turn. The vehicle continued on West High Country at a high speed, nearly rear-ending vehicles and passing in a reckless manner.

At this point and in the interest of public safety the duty supervisor advised the deputies to terminate the pursuit. A deputy could see through the trees that the fleeing vehicle stopped approximately 50 yards ahead of the location where the deputies had stopped pursuing the vehicle. Deputies approached the vehicle and saw the DPS officer chasing the driver on foot. The driver was later identified as Capobianco. They joined the foot chase, and a deputy was able to make physical contact with the fleeing suspect. Initially the suspect physically resisted arrest but eventually complied and was taken into custody without injury to himself or the arresting deputies.

During this investigation, deputies learned that approximately four months prior to this incident a relative of the suspect sold her vehicle to the victim. However, the suspect reportedly kept a spare set of keys to the truck and used the keys to steal it.

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