Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Aug 25, 2021 - 5:07PM

For Immediate Release

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office K9 deputy apprehends carjacker

Case Number:
Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

John Steele, 31, of Angels Camp, California was booked into the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility this morning after a series of crimes which started in Spanish Springs.

Shortly before 9:30 a.m. on August 25, 2021, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, with assistance from both Motor and K9 deputies, were dispatched to a reported hit-and-run in the 1400 block of Talon Court. Once on scene, deputies determined the incident to which they were dispatched was a carjacking. 

According to the victim Steele entered the passenger side of a vehicle, grabbed the driver’s cell phone, and gained control of the steering wheel with the victim still inside.  At some point Steele overpowered the driver and then crashed into a residential yard on Soar Drive. 

Steele then fled the crash scene in a vehicle he had pre-staged in the area and parked on the west side of Pyramid Highway to avoid capture. Steele attempted to commit another vehicle theft, but when confronted by construction workers in the area, fled on foot.  

Steele continued to flee – ultimately running across Pyramid Highway and through traffic. A Washoe County K9 deputy obtained a visual of Steele and delivered a series of instructions.  Steele continued to ignore repeated commands to stop.  Ultimately, a Washoe County K9 was deployed, leading to Steele’s apprehension.  

John Steele is charged with one felony count of grand theft of a motor vehicle; one felony count of robbery; one felony count of battery with intent to commit a crime; one felony count of destroying the property of another; one felony count of burglary; one felony count of possession of a controlled substance; one misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident; and one misdemeanor count of obstructing and resisting. 



The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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