Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD) Sgt. Groves– On July 28, Officers conducted a traffic stop on a black Mercedes sedan in the 1200 block of W. Iowa Ave. The vehicle failed to yield to officers and a pursuit was initiated. During the pursuit, the vehicle exceeded 100 MPH and failed to stop at multiple stop signs. The pursuit ended with the driver of the vehicle, later identified as James Ihle, losing control at the intersection of N. Mahan St. and W. Las Flores Ave. Ihle fled the scene on foot, into a nearby neighborhood. Officers began conducting yard-to-yard searches looking for Ihle; but, were unable to locate him. A loaded firearm was located in the vehicle. A check on the firearm was conducted and officers learned that the firearm had been reported stolen earlier in the week.
Several hours later, the RPD received a call from a resident in that neighborhood reporting their vehicle had been stolen from inside their garage.
Officer (Ofc.) Cushman located the stolen vehicle a short time later in the 1400 block of W. Benson Ave, near where the pursuit initially started. Ofc. Cushman was able to obtain information that Ihle was possibly inside a residence near that location.
Patrol officers and detectives surrounded the house and made contact with the homeowner. The homeowner confirmed that Ihle was inside the residence. Officers and detectives made entry into the residence along with Ofc. Henderson and his canine partner Max. Officers made numerous announcements in the residence; however, Ihle refused to surrender. Officers located a locked bedroom door and ultimately forced entry inside. Ihle was inside the bedroom and was not cooperative with the officers. Canine Max made entry into the bedroom and apprehended Ihle. After a brief struggle, Ihle was taken into custody.