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An Oakland man has been charged with felony car theft and reckless driving during a police chase into Berkeley earlier this month.

Alonzo Choyce, 30, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Choyce was driving a 2016 Ford van at 23rd and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland around 11 p.m. July 12 when officers tried to stop him for a traffic violation.

Officer Sean Wilkenfeld of the Oakland-area CHP office said Choyce immediately began trying to flee from police, who initiated a pursuit.

After pursuing the Ford for a few blocks, officers discontinued their pursuit due to the suspect’s reckless driving,” he said. “However, other officers spotted the vehicle heading towards the freeway on West Grand and Frontage in Oakland and were able to re-initiate pursuit.”

The Ford got onto I-80, eastbound from West Grand Avenue, and the CHP continued to follow it. The driver exited at University Avenue in Berkeley and ran into a concrete wall.

Officers arrested Choyce as well as his passenger, 39-year-old Don Thomas, who was taken into custody on suspicion of drug charges and an outstanding warrant. (Thomas does not appear to be in custody in Alameda County and no further information was available about his case.)

Our investigation revealed that the Ford had license plates for another vehicle mounted on it, most likely in an effort to avoid detection since the Ford was reported stolen out of Oakland,” Wilkenfeld said. 

Choyce is facing felony charges related to evading police, driving the wrong way against traffic during the chase, felony car theft and receiving stolen property, along with misdemeanors.

He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $240,000, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.

He was scheduled to appear at a hearing at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 26. His next court appearance was not immediately available.

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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...