ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – A wanted parolee suspected of recent car thefts eluded police capture during an extensive search near a Roseville park on Tuesday night.
Gary Lee Fowler, 43, is suspected of stealing several cars from a Roseville rental car agency over the weekend. Police say Fowler has been staying near Saugstad Park and they searched the area for him Tuesday night after spotting one of the stolen vehicles being driven in the area.
He has a history of drug use and violent behavior toward police officers and may be armed with a handgun, police said.
Fowler is white, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, with a shaved head and green eyes. He has numerous tattoos on both legs.
At 8:06 p.m. Sunday, a customer went to drop off keys at a car rental agency on North Sunrise Avenue and found that the key drop box had been broken into. He stood by to safeguard the remaining keys and called police. Employees checked the lot and confirmed that six of their vehicles were missing.
Officers searched the area and found that a suspect had moved five of the rental vehicles to other parking lots in the area. They couldn’t locate one of the stolen vehicles. They contacted a 31-year-old Citrus Heights woman near one of the stolen cars and arrested her on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of methamphetamine and other related charges.
From video surveillance and other information gathered during the investigation, detectives identified Fowler as the other suspect.
At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night, officers spotted the one remaining stolen vehicle being driven by a man in the area of Loretto Way and Quail Circle. They followed the vehicle and the driver led them on a short pursuit, then dumped the vehicle on King Road, on the east side of Saugstad Park, and fled on foot.
Numerous officers from Roseville, Rocklin, Citrus Heights, CHP and Placer County converged on the area and searched the park, creek bed corridor and surrounding neighborhoods, with support from CHP’s and Placer County sheriff’s helicopters. Despite the lengthy search, they were unable to locate the driver, whom officers believe was Fowler.
Anyone who sees Fowler should not approach but call 911 immediately. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916)783-STOP, or submit a tip online by visiting the Roseville Police Department’s website and selecting “submit a tip.”