On July 9th, 2021 at approximately 0203 hours a solo Chico Police Officer, patrolling the downtown area, located an occupied stolen vehicle. The driver and sole occupant of the stolen vehicle was heading northbound on Main St. from E. 4th St. The officer followed the vehicle through the downtown area to W. 2nd St. and Chestnut St. There, another officer joined the solo officer and the two units initiated a high-risk felony traffic stop. Unfortunately, as soon as emergency lights were activated, the driver of the stolen vehicle accelerated westbound on W. 2nd St. at a high rate of speed, attempting to evade pursuing officers. As the suspect continued westbound officers estimated the suspect’s speed at approximately 90 mph. Officers quickly recognized the danger to the public if they continued the pursuit, made the right decision and turned off their emergency lights and sirens, disengaging from the pursuit.
Regardless of the officer’s actions to cancel the pursuit, the suspect continued to drive at a high rate of speed westbound to the intersection of W. 2nd St. and Walnut St. where the suspect attempted to make a southbound turn onto Walnut St. However, due to the speeds of the suspect’s vehicle, the suspect failed to negotiate the 90-degree turn, lost control of the vehicle and crashed through two businesses on the southwest corner of W. 2 nd St. and Walnut St.
Officers heard the collision, then saw debris in the air and roadway, causing them to continue to the location of the collision. The driver, Sunny Sayyaphom, exited out of the vehicle on his own accord and was taken into custody without further incident. Sayyaphom was not injured in the collision.
Sayyaphom, who is know to Chico Police officers, was arrested for auto theft and evading. In addition, Sayyaphom is on CDRC parole for auto theft. A parole hold was also placed.
The owner of the stolen vehicle, a 2014 Toyota Camry, was notified of the events, as were the business owners.
Location: Downtown Chico
Date/Time: 07/09/2021 @0203 hours
Suspect: Sunny Sayyaphom, Age 29
Supervisor: Mark Bass, Sergeant Watch Commander: M. Rodden