Jay Vallejo (photo credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office)

POLSON – A man is facing identity theft, deceptive practices and theft charges for stealing items from Missoula homes and then leading police on a high-speed chase.

A Polson police officer pulled over a vehicle near St. Joseph Hospital at around 7 p.m. Tuesday for a traffic violation. Authorities said the driver, identified as Jay Vallejo, pulled over to the side of the road and then sped off before the officer got out of the patrol vehicle.

The officer then pursued the fleeing vehicle and learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Missoula.  The chase reached speeds of up to 100 mph on Highway 93.

Vallejo drove off road several times, driving through fields, a yard and an irrigation ditch before his vehicle broke down. He was then taken into custody.

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Polson Police Sergeant George Simpson said when they searched Vallejo’s stolen vehicle, they found stolen property from a reported residential burglary in Missoula.

Vallejo is in custody in the Lake County jail.

MTN’s Melissa Rafferty

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