A 30-year-old Palo Alto man who took police on a wild car chase down a highway and through residential streets in Sebastopol, a town in Sonoma County, on Saturday, July 25, was arrested for stealing a vehicle and other charges, Sebastopol police Chief Jeff Weaver said.
Michael Linetsky allegedly stole a Honda sedan from the parking area of the Aubergine Vintage Emporium and Cafe on Petaluma Avenue. An officer on patrol saw Linetsky run a stop sign. Linetsky pulled around and stopped on the No. 1 (fast) lane of Highway 116 for an unknown reason, blocking traffic.
When the officer turned on his rack lights, Linetsky took off, driving through at least one red-light traffic signal and stop signs in a residential area. The chase went on for about 1.3 miles, and ended when Linetsky drove down a dead-end street, Weaver said.
Linetsky jumped out of the still-moving vehicle and ran, and the car continued moving without its driver, crashing into a chain-link fence. Linetsky was apprehended after a foot chase, Weaver said.
The Honda had not yet been reported stolen, and the owner said she did not know Linetsky and had never met him. He apparently gained entry into the vehicle after the owner left her keys in the unlocked car, Weaver said.
Linetsky was arrested for vehicle theft, evading a police officer and driving under the influence. He had a blood alcohol level of .12, Weaver said.
Linetsky was also wanted on a $5,000 warrant out of Mountain View at the time of his arrest, and had a no-bail probation hold from San Mateo County, Weaver said. He remains in custody at Sonoma County Jail. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said it does not release booking photos.