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California Man Arrested After Pursuit with Stolen Vehicle

Nebraska State Patrol High Speed Pursuit

JUNE 19, 2024 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man following a pursuit with a stolen vehicle in central Nebraska.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, a trooper observed a Jeep speeding at over 100 miles per hour on Interstate 80 near Grand Island, at mile marker 321. The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the driver refused to yield and accelerated. The trooper initiated a pursuit.

Near mile marker 293, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office successfully deployed stop sticks to slow the vehicle. The Jeep eventually came to a stop in the median and the driver fled on foot. The vehicle was determined to have been stolen out of Ohio.

Troopers and Buffalo County deputies searched the area. Using a thermal drone, troopers were able to locate the driver in the I-80 ditch. The driver, Thomas Hernandez, 33, of Fullerton, California, was arrested for flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, and theft by unlawful taking. He was lodged in Hall County Corrections.