Roseville police catch alleged Auto mall car thief on New Year’s Eve

Suspect is 26-year-old Rocklin resident
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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The Roseville Police Department brought a fast-moving lightshow through different parts of the city on New Year’s Eve, hunting down an alleged car thief and eventually capturing him on Pleasant Grove Boulevard.  

The incident started at 7:46 p.m. when one of the dealers at the Roseville Automall reported that a man had just stolen a white late-model Chrysler Sebring off the lot. Approaching the scene, a Roseville police officer saw the fleeing vehicle speeding onto North Sunrise Boulevard in a reckless manner, accelerating through the darkness with the lights off.

“The driver drove out at a high rate of speed,” said Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther. “He ran the red light at Sunrise and Eureka Road.”

Heavy holiday traffic blocked the first officer from catching up to the suspect, though a witness quickly phoned police with a new sighting of the stolen car at the United Artists Theaters at Olympus Point.

The witness told the Press Tribune he was suspicious because he’d seen the fleeing car tear through the Sunrise and Eureka intersection illegally and then “abruptly” turn into the back entrance to United Artists before immediately flicking the vehicle’s lights off.

Additional police cruisers swarmed the theater complex within seconds, spotting the stolen Chrysler leaving the scene by getting onto Interstate 80 from Eureka Road.  

Police caught up to the suspect’s vehicle on Highway 65 and ordered him to pull over. Gunther said at that point Brenen Ballacera, 26, of Rocklin surrendered at the northbound Pleasant Grove Boulevard exit. He was then taken into custody peacefully.

Ballacera was booked in to the Placer County Jail on charges of vehicle theft, reckless driving, possession of stolen property and violation of probation. Gunther said Ballacera has since posted a $40,000 bail bond.