February 10, 2023
A homeless man from Calaveras County is in Amador County Jail after allegedly stealing an unlocked Jackson Police Department patrol car.
Authorities say around 6:15 p.m. Thursday, 38-year-old David Sayle stole a patrol car that had been left unlocked and parked outside of the police department building.
The car was unlocked because the officer who had been driving it was unloading evidence from a previous arrest, police officials say.
Sayle allegedly drove away in the car. The officer who was unloading evidence came back outside to notice that the car was gone. He reported the stolen car to Amador County Dispatch.
That’s when officers say they reviewed security camera video that showed Sayle trying to open the doors to other cars, before entering and stealing the patrol car.
A citizen called police to ask why a police car was seen driving fast through the parking lot of a nearby hospital. By the time officers arrived to the hospital parking lot, officials say the stolen car was gone.
Around 6:30 p.m., an off-duty district attorney investigator reportedly called police after seeing the stolen patrol car on Ridge Road. The off-duty investigator followed the car to 30 Ridge Road where it came to a stop.
Officers with the Jackson and Sutter Creek Police Departments, the Amador County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol responded to the area and ordered Sayle to get out of the car.
Sayle allegedly ignored commands at first, but eventually exited and started to walk away. Officers chased Sayle on foot and took him into custody.
No injuries were reported during the incident and no damage was done to the patrol car, according to police. Officials say the officer’s patrol rifle was still inside the car, locked in a rifle rack.
Sayle, who officials said had been dropped off in the Jackson area after being released from an out-of-county mental health facility, was booked into jail on suspicion of motor vehicle theft, resisting a public peace officer, possession of unlawful paraphernalia and attempting to receive stolen property.
In a press release, the Jackson Police Department described Sayle as a transient from Calaveras County. The department said its officers were “very familiar” with Sayle due to numerous contacts with him during the day.