MENDOCINO Co., 12/21/16 -- The plot thickens in the story of the wild car chase that ripped from Ukiah to Willits last night, Dec. 20, involving at least four law enforcement agencies, numerous officers, and speed of over 110mph. It seems the man that police pursued up the Ridgewood Grade, Ryan Maxstadt, was also the man wanted in connection with a string of mail thefts -- for whom the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) had set an elaborate sting.
The MCSO issued a press release this afternoon, providing more details into last night's event, following up on a release from the California Highway Patrol, issued this morning, which provided details about the chase itself. The information in these releases has not been independently verified and all people are considered innocent until proven guilty.
In advance of the gift giving (and Amazon shopping/mail receiving) season, the MCSO, in cooperation with United States Postal Inspectors and ordinary residents of Mendo, began a surveillance program, targeting theft of mail along lonely rural routes.
Yesterday, deputies received a tip about a theft in the Ukiah area, and following the tip allegedly found the stolen package in the home of one Amanda Delvalle, 24, of Ukiah. She was arrested for on charges of possession of stolen property, violation of probation, conspiracy and mail theft.
With new evidence the deputies continued their investigation believing that Ryan Maxstadt had participated in the thefts. They also believed him to have evaded the Ukiah Police Department in a chase, and found that he had arrest warrants out, for crimes down in the Bay.
They began a search and that night, around 7:20pm, found a car matching the description near the Arco on Talmage Rd. in Ukiah. It was at this point that the chase began, the details of which can be read in our past stories.
The new details released in this statement tell the story of what happened after Maxstadt bailed from his car in Willits, having fired shots at police while fleeing. According to the statement he continued to flee on foot, hiding in the shrubs in the creek behind the Willits Safeway on Main St.
But an MCSO K9 unit was on the scene and Ruddick the dog quickly found Maxstadt. According to the statement law enforcement officers asked the suspect to show his hands or comply with orders. At this point, they released the dog on him, and he was bitten several times, then detained. He was then taken to Howard Hospital to be treated for the wound received when attacked by the dog.
Though it is not mentioned in the press release, scanner traffic last night indicated that law enforcement did not fire any shots during the incident.
The suspects were booked into Mendocino County Jail, though their entries are not yet available online.
The MCSO thanks the various people involved and is also urging people to be careful with their mail, in the statement, "The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens who assisted in this investigation, and to remind members of the public who have rural delivery mail boxes to remove your mail daily. If you are going to be gone, contact the United States Postal Service for a stop delivery to your mail box and to report any suspicious vehicles or persons who might be involved in mail theft."
Here is the press release:
Incident Number: 2016-38860
182 PC [Conspiracy to commit a crime]
496(a) PC [Possess stolen property]
530.5 PC [identity/mail theft]
1203.2 PC [violation of probation]
Location: Robinson Creek Road, Ukiah, CA
Date of Incident: 12-20-2016
Time: 3:00 PM
Victim(s): Numerous Rural Route Mail Box Holders
Suspect(s): , 27 years of age, San Jose CA
Amanda DelValle, 24 years of age, Ukiah CA
Written By: Sgt Matthew Kendall #2316
Synopsis: In preparation for the holiday season, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office began an anti-mail theft campaign throughout Mendocino County. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies, working in cooperation with United States Postal Inspectors and numerous private citizens began an intensive surveillance program, specifically targeting thefts of mail on rural mail routes.
On 12/20/2016 The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding theft of mail from a witness on Robinson Creek Road in the rural area of Ukiah. Deputies received a description of the suspects and the suspect vehicle. Deputies initiated an investigation and located one package of mail, stolen from Robinson Creek Road, in a residence located in the 2200 Block of South State St, the home of Amanda Delvalle. Delvalle was arrested for possession of stolen property, violation of probation, conspiracy and mail theft. Deputies continued to investigate and developed a second suspect as well as a detailed description of the suspect vehicle.
Deputies learned Ryan Maxstadt was the driver of the vehicle which was seen committing mail theft. The vehicle also matched the description of a vehicle which had been involved in a pursuit with the Ukiah Police Department over the weekend. A records check revealed Maxstadt had felony warrants for his arrest out of the bay area.
After identifying Maxstadt Deputies coordinated efforts with officers from the Ukiah Police Department and began searching for the suspect vehicle in the greater Ukiah area. Around 7:20 PM a Ukiah Police Sergeant located the vehicle near Talmage Rd and Hastings Rd. Ukiah PD attempted to initiate a stop and the vehicle fled the area and a pursuit ensued, North bound on Highway 101. Officers from the California Highway Patrol were summoned and took control of the pursuit on Highway 101. (See California Highway Patrol Press release of 12/21/2016)
After the vehicle pursuit ended Mendocino County Sheriff’s K-9 Ruddick was deployed to track and apprehend the suspect. Ruddick quickly picked up the suspect’s track and located the suspect approximately 100 yards north of the vehicle in a creek bed, in the 1100 Block of South Main Street in Willits. The suspect refused to comply with the orders of deputies and refused to show his hands. K-9 Ruddick was deployed and the suspect was bitten multiple times. K9 Ruddick held the suspect in place until such time Deputies could take him into custody.
Maxstadt was taken to the Howard Memorial Hospital where he was treated for injuries from the K-9 deployment. Maxstadt was booked into to the Mendocino County Jail on multiple charges related to the pursuit and the shooting at the CHP Officers during the pursuit. In addition the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit will be seeking charges of conspiracy, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, identity/mail theft and violation of probation against Maxstadt. He is currently held without bail.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens who assisted in this investigation, and to remind members of the public who have rural delivery mail boxes to remove your mail daily. If you are going to be gone, contact the United States Postal Service for a stop delivery to your mail box and to report any suspicious vehicles or persons who might be involved in mail theft.
Approved by: Lieutenant Shannon Barney