MORONGO VALLEY — Deputies raced in pursuit of a Jeep Cherokee from Morongo Valley to Desert Hot Springs Tuesday morning. The driver, 31-year-old Palm Desert resident Charles Kirkpatrick, was later found to be out on bail and was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle.
Deputies from the Morongo Basin sheriff’s station tried to stop the Jeep near the 49000 block of Twentynine Palms Highway around 10:08 a.m. because it was cold-plated — it was bearing a license plate that was registered to another vehicle.
Kirkpatrick did not pull over and deputies began chasing him through Morongo Valley. The pursuit continued into Riverside County near Mission Lakes in Desert Hot Springs.
Kirkpatrick drove into the open desert south of Indian Avenue, left the vehicle and ran, the Sheriff’s Department said. Deputies found and arrested him.
Sheriff’s aviation found the Jeep Cherokee rolled onto its roof in the open desert.
Officers from the Indio CHP division responded and launched a collision investigation.
Deputies discovered that the Jeep Cherokee Kirkpatrick drove in the pursuit was stolen from the Thousand Palms area on May 12.
He was arrested for felony evading and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail on a $150,000 bail.
The Sheriff’s Department said Kirkpatrick was arrested by Morongo Basin deputies on Jan. 24 while allegedly driving an unrelated stolen vehicle.
Due to the COVI-19 pandemic, Kirkpatrick’s bail was reduced to $0 and he was released from custody on April 17. In that case, he was charged with felony possession of stolen property and pleaded not guilty. He is due in court Aug. 4.
He is now being held in the West Valley Detention Center on $15,000 bail on a charge of evading police.
Anyone with information for the investigation is asked to call the sheriff’s station at (760) 366-4175 or leave an anonymous tip at (888) 782-7463.