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Man Accused of Stealing Vehicle from Auto Dealer During 'Test Drive,' Leading Pursuit thru Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio

Patch file photo by Eric Reed
Patch file photo by Eric Reed
A man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing a vehicle from an auto dealership during a test drive in Rancho Mirage and leading deputies on a chase through Palm Desert, La  Quinta and Indio, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Deputies were called to the 69-800 block of Highway 111 at 11:37 a.m. Sept. 25 where "a theft of a vehicle from a local area car dealership during a test drive" was reported, Rancho Mirage police Sgt. Andy Martinez said.

"During this investigation, an officer of the Palm Desert Police Department located the stolen vehicle traveling eastbound on Fred Waring Dr. at Cook St.," Martinez said.

"A pursuit was initiated and the suspect fled through the cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indio," Martinez said. "The pursuit terminated in the area of Burr St. and Avenue 42, in the city of Indio, when the vehicle collided with a curb. No one was injured during the incident."

The driver was the only person in the vehicle and he was identified as Carlos Alberto Contreras, 32, of Coachella.

Contreras was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, making false financial statements, evading a peace officer, and other charges. He was held Friday afternoon on $100,000 bail at Indio Jail, according to inmate records.

Anyone with more info was urged to call the Palm Desert Sheriff's Station at (760) 836-1600.

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