An interrupted residential burglary in the Del Rio area off Stewart Road and McHenry Avenue on Wednesday, April 29, led to a high speed chase with the vehicle being discarded outside of Oakdale off Rodden Road. The suspect fled on foot and swam across the Stanislaus River back into the city causing police to lock down the area as sheriff’s units conducted a neighborhood search for the man.
Stanislaus Sheriff’s Sergeant Kevin Davis said around 12:20 p.m. a homeowner in the Del Rio area outside of Riverbank returned home and found a man inside her house. The homeowner confronted the subject who forcibly pushed past her into the homeowner’s white Chevy Suburban which was loaded with items including firearms and electronic items.
Riverbank Police units spotted the Suburban and gave chase as the SUV attempted to evade east on Highway 108 reaching speeds close to 100 m.p.h.
“We called off the pursuit due to the speed and the hour of day since it was getting close to the high school,” Sgt. Davis said.
The Oakdale Police Department was alerted and a police unit spotted the vehicle on Yosemite Avenue near Meadowlark Lane. The vehicle again sped away, leaving town, going east on River Road before the officer was able to give chase.
“We tried to get OnStar to shut off the ignition system, but we didn’t have it (the ID number) entered into NCIC yet,” said Sgt. Davis
NCIC is the United States law enforcement database for tracking crime-related information including stolen vehicles.
The Suburban was found abandoned by deputies within minutes near an orchard on Rodden Road and the suspect was seen swimming across the Stanislaus River toward the River Bluff Drive area of Oakdale.
Police and sheriff’s units along with assistance from the California Highway Patrol and Stanislaus Probation Department converged on the area to set a perimeter and aid in the search for the suspect.
Officers controlled access in and out of the area as other units completed yard-to-yard searches.
Cloverland Elementary and Oakdale Jr. High schools were both locked down while the manhunt was in process.
Sgt. Davis stated that the Sheriff’s K-9 units were training that day so officers at the scene had the benefit of three sheriff’s canines and one Oakdale canine being able to assist in the search.
During the course of the search, the sheriff’s department advised that the firearms stolen were accounted for with the SUV.
At 1:45 p.m. a Stanislaus Sheriff’s helicopter arrived, circling the area while the search went on in the upscale neighborhood.
Eventually, at 2:20 p.m., a sheriff’s canine located the suspect hunkered down in the backyard of a residence on Jeanette Court and he was taken into custody by deputies and police on the scene.
Due to bite wounds sustained from the canine when the suspect was hiding, an ambulance was summoned to provide medical aid.
Sgt. Davis identified the suspect as Shawn Majors, 38, of Oakdale.
Majors was transported to Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto for treatment for the bite and was to be booked on felony burglary and vehicle robbery charges.
“The team effort between all of the departments was impressive on how well everyone worked together,” said Riverbank Police Chief Erin Kiely. “Due to that effort, that is what caused the suspect to be apprehended.”