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Officers arrested a man in a stolen truck after he was spotted driving solo through a Berkeley carpool lane, authorities said.

Thursday at about 8:35 a.m., a California Highway Patrol officer on Interstate 80 near Gilman Street was on the lookout for carpool violators when he saw a man alone in a Ford pickup truck using the lane.

The officer tried to stop the driver, but he refused to pull over and the officer began to pursue him.

“The Ford exited the freeway then immediately re-entered the freeway, going eastbound in the westbound lanes,” said Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, Oakland CHP spokesman.

Due to the heavy traffic of the morning commute, the officer stopped following the driver for the safety of the public.

The CHP alerted the Berkeley and Albany police departments with a description of the suspect and vehicle.

About two minutes later, Albany Police officers said they had stopped a vehicle with a similar description near the Golden Gate Fields racetrack at 1100 Eastshore Highway.

The CHP officer responded and confirmed the identity of the driver, and placed him under arrest.

Police determined that the truck had been stolen in Richmond, but had not yet been reported.

Officers identified the driver as 24-year-old Michael Verette of Hercules.

He was taken to the North County Jail in Oakland on suspicion of vehicle theft and evading police.

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Drugs, guns seized during 2 CHP arrests in Berkeley (09.18.14)
Stolen car seen in Berkeley, driver arrested after chase (07.08.14.)
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Breaking: CHP chase from Oakland ends in South Berkeley (01.31.14)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...