Photos: FPD

Fortuna Police Department release:

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at about 1:14 P.M. a Fortuna Police Officer located a stolen vehicle in the 1600 block of Meadowlark Court in Fortuna.

As the investigation ensued, the scene was determined to be a chop shop as the location was being used to store multiple stolen vehicles. Stolen vehicles were located parked in front of the residence and inside the garage. In total, three stolen vehicles were recovered. The suspect was identified as Daniel Ray Fidler (age 50) of Fortuna. Fidler fled the residence into the Jameson Creek area and densely wooded area directly behind the residence. A K9 was deployed however Fidler had escaped the area prior to the deployment.

Mutual aid was requested and Fortuna Police coordinated officers efforts in an attempt to establish a perimeter around the creek and wooded area. Information was obtained that Fidler was potentially in possession of a handgun and was making comments regarding “suicide by cop”.

Fortuna Police Officers, a Fortuna K9, the Fortuna Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and allied agency officers searched the area for Fidler with negative results. It is believed that Fidler arranged for an associate to pick him up and then fled the area.

As a result of the investigation, Daniel Ray Finder is wanted in connection to the following crimes:

  • California Vehicle Code Section 10801 – Operating a Chop Shop
  • California Penal Code Section 496(d) – Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle (X3 counts)
  • California Penal Code Section 29800 – Possession of a Firearm by Prohibited Person
  • California Penal Code Section 33215 – Possession of a Short Barrel Shotgun
  • California Penal Code Section 30305(a)(1) – Felon in Possession of Ammunition
  • California Penal Code Section 1203.2(a) – Violation of Probation
  • California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) – Obstructing, Resisting, Delaying a Peace Officer
  • California Penal Code Section 466 – Possession of Burglary Tools

It should be noted that Filder is on active felony probation and has an active felony arrest warrant for Kidnapping.

While officers were processing the scene, Rio Dell Police became involved in a high speed pursuit involving a vehicle known by police to be associated with this incident. A stolen silver Jeep led Rio Dell Police on a high speed pursuit that ended in the rural area of Ferndale. The vehicle was found unoccupied but it is believed that the two incidents are connected.

This is an active and ongoing investigation, Fidler is believed to be armed and dangerous. Fidler is a career criminal with known access to firearms. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Fortuna Police Department at (707)725-7550.

We would like to thank our allied agencies, California Highway Patrol, Rio Dell Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Cal Fire Law Enforcement for their assistance with this incident.