On the lam

Suspect in July crime spree still loose

Chico police are asking the public to be on the lookout for Michael Ned, a 19-year-old man suspected of taking part in a string of violent crimes.

Chico police are asking the public to be on the lookout for Michael Ned, a 19-year-old man suspected of taking part in a string of violent crimes.

PHOTO Courtesy of the chico police department

The third of four suspects in a violent, weeks-long July crime spree has been located by Chico police, while the final suspect— believed by authorities to be armed and “extremely dangerous”—is still on the lam.

Nineteen-year-old Michael Ned is wanted for home-invasion robbery, burglary, resisting arrest and possession of a loaded, concealed firearm. Chico police announced Sept. 28 that Ned and three others—Deandre Eagleton, 18, Nathan Lindquist, 23, and Latrice Johnson, 21—were suspects in five crimes that occurred between July 13 and July 29.

“Due to the fact that firearms were involved in, or the objective of, crimes believed to be committed by [Ned], and other behavior including running from the police, we believe him to extremely dangerous,” Sgt. Rob Merrifield said.

Authorities discovered the crimes were connected following Eagleton’s mid-August arrest and a search of his Nord Avenue apartment.

Johnson, the sole female, is the most recent of the group to be apprehended by authorities. She was arrested and released in Chico Aug. 29 on a felony warrant for robbery and misdemeanor warrant for solicitation of prostitution, according to the CPD arrest log. Merrifield was unable to provide further details about Johnson’s status, or why she was released.

“It’s just something we’re not talking about right now,” he said.

According to a CPD press release, Johnson was involved in one of the crimes, a July 13 robbery and carjacking on the 1000 block of Nord Avenue. A 29-year-old man contacted Johnson via the Internet and allegedly arranged to have sex with her in exchange for money. When the man arrived at the meeting spot, he was beaten by two armed men—one alleged to be Lindquist, the other as yet unidentified—who also stole his car.

That same night Eagleton, Ned and another unidentified suspect armed with handguns allegedly terrorized the residents of a Roseleaf Court home in a home-invasion robbery. The suspects demanded money and marijuana that they believed to be in the residence, but apparently had the wrong house. During the incident, one of the suspects struck a resident with a handgun, inflicting injury.

Latrice Johnson was arrested Aug. 29.

PHOTO Courtesy of the chico police department

The next incident occurred on July 26, when Eagleton, Ned and an unknown suspect allegedly broke into a residence on the 1100 block of Nord Avenue. The resident—who was not home at the time—reported several items missing, including a handgun and a rifle. None of the items have been recovered.

The next night police responded to a fight at Ninth and Ivy streets. Several suspects ran away, and one dropped a loaded firearm. The CPD alleges its ongoing investigation has determined Ned was the armed man.

Late on the evening of July 27, an 18-year-old man was robbed of his wallet by two men—one of whom brandished a handgun—while walking on the 1100 block of Nord Avenue. The assailants are alleged to be Eagleton and an unnamed juvenile.

Police arrested Eagleton on Aug. 15, after obtaining a search warrant of his apartment on the 1100 block of Nord Avenue, near the scene of several of the crimes. During the course of the investigation, CPD detectives learned the other suspects were known associates of Eagleton who lived in or frequented his apartment.

In addition to the aforementioned crimes, Eagleton is suspected to be involved in an Emeryville homicide and of selling marijuana.

Lindquist was arrested in Yreka and transferred to Butte County Jail in Oroville, where he and Eagleton are still being held.

With three of the crimes involving as-yet-unidentified suspects, Merrifield said it is unclear if all of the alleged criminal acquaintances are accounted for.

Merrifield also said there was no evidence to suggest the group’s criminal actions were related to organized gang activity, and that no member appears to be the ringleader.

“I wouldn’t say there is any one person that was in charge of this little group,” he said. “It seemed like they were all willing to take part in the crimes as the opportunities came up. It was just kind of opportunistic, and they’d just do it regardless of whether any one person was present or not.”

Police advise the public to be on the lookout for Ned’s two-door green Honda, license plate 2DOL270. Anyone with further information about the crimes, or Ned’s whereabouts, is urged to call Chico police at 895-4911.