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Indictment Filed Following Vehicle Theft And Chase In Yosemite

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Yosemite, CA — A Southern California man allegedly stole a Yosemite ranger’s vehicle and then led officials on a high-speed chase.

It happened back on December 26 of 2022, according to the US Attorney’s Office, which just filed a three-count indictment. 28-year-old Christian Claustro of Rancho Cucamonga is accused of stealing a vehicle after a Yosemite Ranger pulled over and got out to remove a bike from the roadway. Officials say Claustro then led officials on a chase that eventually ended when the stolen vehicle reached the Ferguson Slide Bridge and went off the cliff and crashed 200 feet down an embankment.

Claustro now faces federal charges of theft of personal property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and fleeing from a peace officer.

The US Attorney’s Office reports, “If convicted, Claustro faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for theft of personal property, up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for destroying or removing property subject to seizure, and up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for recklessly evading a peace officer.”

The case was investigated by the National Park Service and Assistant US Attorney Robert Veneman-Hughes is prosecuting the case.