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Kern County Sheriff's Office - Public Information Officer
Friday August 28th, 2015 :: 04:01 p.m. PDT


Stolen Vehicle Investigation

On August 27th, 2015 at about 2:25 pm a Kern County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy assigned to the Kern Valley substation began following a vehicle he believed had been reported stolen in the area on August 19th.

As the deputy followed the vehicle north on Highway 155 near the French Gulch Marina, the vehicle pulled over into a turnout north of the French Gulch campground. The deputy, who had not activated his emergency lights or siren, pulled in behind the vehicle to attempt to read the license plate number to determine if it was the vehicle that had been reported stolen. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 52 year old Jack Robertson, made a U-turn in the vehicle and began driving south on Highway 155.

As the vehicle made the U-turn the deputy was able to read the last three digits of the license plate which matched the last three digits of the stolen vehicle. The deputy was unable to confirm if the vehicle was the stolen vehicle at that point so did not activate his emergency lights and siren. The deputy briefly lost sight of the vehicle when it entered a curve in the roadway as it continued south. The deputy made a U-turn and continued following the vehicle, which began driving at a high rate of speed.

The deputy then activated his emergency lights and siren as the vehicle being driven by Robertson drove south about a ¼ mile ahead of the deputy at speeds of between 85 to 90 miles per hour.

As the deputy attempted to catch up to Robertson near the French Gulch Bridge he observed Robertson appear to lose control of the vehicle, which began swerving from side to side. The deputy then observed the vehicle flip five to six times. As a result of the traffic accident, Robertson was ejected from the vehicle. The deputy administered CPR and Robertson was transported to Kern Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It was determined the vehicle Robertson had been operating was the vehicle which had been reported stolen on August 19th. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the traffic accident.



Kern County Sheriff's Office - Public Information Officer
1350 Norris Rd
Bakersfield, CA 93308

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 661-303-4592

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