Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

On Monday, December 5, 2016 at approximately 5:10 p.m. a Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff observed a black Ford pickup truck stopped at the intersection of Simpson Rd and Lincoln Ave in Fairhaven. The deputy requested a records check on the vehicle, which returned stolen out of Eureka.  Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop but the vehicle sped up and failed to yield.  A pursuit ensued and was shortly terminated after the vehicle began driving recklessly and ran a stop sign at Highway 255 and New Navy Base Road without stopping.

John Forrest Mastel, Jr.

Deputies continued to search the Manila area for the stolen vehicle.  A short time later, the driver of the vehicle was located on Peninsula Drive and was identified as 42 year old parolee John Forrest Mastel, Jr. Mastel was found to be in possession of brass knuckles, and various small tools commonly used to commit burglaries. 

The stolen vehicle was located hidden in some nearby brush, and was later returned to the registered owner.

Mastel was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for theft of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of burglary tools, carrying a dirk or dagger, possession of metal knuckles, violation of parole, and evading a peace officer with wanton disregard of safety.  His bail was set at $50,000.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.