[quote]BY LAURA CLARK/The Daily Journal
A Ukiah transient on Thursday left his shopping cart full of rubbish in the Ken Fowler Auto and Truck Center and took off in a 2005 Cadillac CTS, valued at $37,000.
Eric Anthony Greensweight, 35, formerly of Eureka was reportedly camped out in the car lot Thursday morning, where his dogs also used the company’s front doormat as a bathroom. After owner Jeff Fowler “nicely” asked him leave, Greensweight spotted the brand new silver car with the keys in it, threw his two dogs inside and sped off the lot, Fowler said.
"We had just had our floors cleaned inside the showroom so the vehicles were off the floor … he saw an opportunity … I saw him run to the car … " Fowler said.
Fowler, on the phone when he witnessed the incident through his office window, yelled to Cody Crowder, finance director, that a car had just been stolen.
“Cody was backing another vehicle – a $75,000 Cadillac XLR convertible – into the showroom and I saw him put it into drive and I said, Not in the XLR!’ So Cody gets into another Cadillac and proceeds after him,” Fowler said.
“I jumped in the nearest car that wasn’t worth $76,000 but only $50,000 and it happened to be a Cadillac STS and I got on Highway 101 and passed up Chad (a car salesman also chasing Greensweight) in the Mazda Miata. When I passed him – I was doing well over 110 mph. – I looked down (at my gas gauge) and I don’t have any gas; but I kept going thinking I had a better shot” at staying on Greensweight’s trail than Chad did in the Mazda, Crowder said.
Meanwhile, Fowler gets on a cell phone and calls 911 as he is running out to the back of the car lot to view Highway 101 where he sees his car fly by, he said.
“He’s driving like a crazy man with a death grip on the steering wheel, looking straight ahead and I am giving him the finger, 'cause he’s got my car,” Fowler said.
At that point, Fowler gets in his car – another Cadillac – and takes off after Greensweight, Crowder, and his car salesman.
The car salesman had to stop soon after, as did Crowder who was out of gasoline.
“Once over Burke Hill, the gauge was below the line so I had to leave the chase up to Jeff,” Crowder said; law enforcement hadn’t caught up with them yet.
Ukiah police and California Highway Patrol officers responded on southbound Highway 101 in the hope of locating the vehicle. Near Hopland a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy reported a citizen had just seen the vehicle driving recklessly through Hopland. Shortly after, Cloverdale police spotted the Cadillac on Highway 101 near Cloverdale, traveling at speeds over 100 mph. Cloverdale police chased the vehicle at high speeds until the Geyserville area, where CHP took over the pursuit, according to UPD.
The chase ended somewhere around 1 p.m. near Windsor when Greensweight, who was “driving in the fast lane with CHP on his tail, tried to pass traffic in the grass median, lost control of the car and spun out and did two or three 360s in the middle of traffic,” Fowler said, noting he did not hit anyone.
“The car was without a scratch except for a couple of bug splats,” Fowler said following the ordeal. Scratched or not, Fowler did have a few words with Greensweight after it was all over. “I was pretty much yelling at him when he threw out there I only wanted to take it for a test drive,’” Fowler said, noting this exchange of words occurred as Greensweight, in handcuffs, was being led away by officers.
Greensweight was booked into the Sonoma County jail on suspicion of vehicle theft.[/quote] http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/Stories/0,1413,91~3089~2574617,00.html