February 11, 2024 - Calaveras County Sheriff's Office officials report that on February 6, 2024, at 12:15 A.M., a deputy on the field training program who was partnered with a K-9 Sergeant (and his K-9 partner Titan) was conducting a “routine patrol” on Jesus Maria Road near Mokelumne Hill.
While patrolling, the deputies recognized a vehicle parked on the roadway as one that had been reported as stolen on February 4, 2024, from a parking lot in Valley Springs (Valley Oak Shopping Center). As they approached the vehicle, a suspect emerged from a nearby wooded area near the vehicle before he fled on foot down a steep ravine covered with heavy brush. The deputies attempted to chase after the suspect; however, they lost sight of him due to the heavy foliage. The Sergeant deployed canine Titan, who began tracking the suspect. Deputy Titan’s exceptional sense of smell and training enabled him to detect the suspect's scent and track him down the canyon through a creek bed where the suspect, Jonathan Hunter Morris, age 30, from Valley Springs, was eventually located. Upon detection by Deputy Titan, Suspect Morris was taken into custody without further incident.
While searching Suspect Morris and the stolen vehicle, deputies located an explosive device, drug paraphernalia, suspected stolen mail, a controlled substance, and a large knife (violation of his probation). A records inquiry revealed an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest issued from the Superior Court of Tuolumne County for evading and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Suspect Morris was taken to the Calaveras County Jail for booking. Follow up investigation regarding the stolen mail is currently ongoing.
Source & photos: Calaveras County Sheriff's Office