Suspected cellphone thieves lead police on high-speed Windsor-to-Petaluma chase

A police pursuit put a Petaluma elementary school on lockdown Friday afternoon for over an hour after four suspects in a Windsor AT&T store theft led authorities on a 23-mile chase reaching speeds up to 110 miles per hour on Highway 101, according to initial reports.

At least three of the men were in custody within 20 minutes of them bailing out of the suspect vehicle near Petaluma's East Washington and Ellis streets, where McKinley Elementary School was locked down about 1:50 p.m., emergency dispatchers and a school representative said.

The lockdown was lifted by police and school officials about 3 p.m., according to Petaluma City Schools Superintendent Steve Bolman. He said he understood that police had either taken the fourth suspect into custody or cleared the area and determined it was safe to re-open the school.

Petaluma police could not immediately be reached to provide an update on the incident.

Diana Cannon, a McKinley secretary, said students were safe during the lockdown, with a large police presence at the school. About 50 parents had gathered outside the school at 2:50 p.m. to pick up children, Cannon said. They were being addressed by Principal Matthew Harris. The school day normally ends at 2:45 p.m.

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