Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Kory L. HoneaThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

Butte County Sheriff vehicle pursuit

Monday, November 28, 2016/Categories: Press Release

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Chico, CA- On Thursday November 24, 2016, at about 7:30 PM, Butte County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Baker attempted to stop a vehicle, for a lighting violation, in the area of Oro Chico Highway and Midway. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and fled from Deputy Baker.


A 30 minute pursuit ensued which traveled through parts of Durham and then back into Chico, reaching speeds of approximately 80 miles per hour (MPH). The occupants tossed counterfeit currency from the vehicle during the pursuit. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) assisted by laying spike strips across the road in the area of Oro Chico Highway and Neal Road. The fleeing vehicle struck the spike strips which blew out at least one tire. Although the spike strips did not immediately bring the fleeing vehicle to a stop, the driver did slow down to about 40 MPH as it travelled back towards the Chico area.


As the pursuit reached the area of northbound Cypress Avenue, approaching E. 12th Street, the fleeing vehicle veered left and continued northbound on Pine Street which is a southbound only lane. Deputy Baker remained northbound on Cypress Avenue and momentarily lost sight of the vehicle. Officers from the Chico Police Department (CPD) located the vehicle a couple of minutes later, stopped at the intersection of Woodland Avenue and E.  7th Street. A female passenger was detained at that time. The male driver had already fled the area on foot into Bidwell Park. A search was conducted but the male was not located. Deputy Baker soon learned that an infant boy was in the back seat of the vehicle during the pursuit. The baby boy was uninjured and later taken into protective custody by Children’s Services.                


The mother of the infant boy, 34 year old Amber Ward of Hamilton City, was arrested on charges of child endangerment, possession of counterfeit currency, and destroying evidence.

The driver, and father of the infant boy, has been identified as 36 year old Chico resident, Thomas Sanders. Sanders is wanted for evading, child endangerment, and possession of counterfeit currency.


Anyone with information about the pursuit or the whereabouts of Sanders is urged to call BCSO at 530-538-7321.


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