Placer County sheriff’s deputies continued Thursday to search for three men who fled from a deputy outside the mountain community of Foresthill.
The men ran from a deputy about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday four miles east of Foresthill. Five guns, one of which was stolen, were found in the men’s car.
One fugitive, Pedro Madrigal Ortiz, a 25-year-old citizen of Mexico, was later taken into custody by deputies who stopped a car on Lincoln Way in Auburn. Ortiz is suspected of resisting arrest, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
The others wanted on the same charges are Dimas Licea Ortiz, 22; Jose Luis Licea Ortiz, 20; and Ruben Villegas, 26. The three are also Mexican citizens.
Dimas Ortiz has a $100,000 warrant in Sacramento County for felony drug sales, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s officials said patrols on the Foresthill Divide will be increased. They noted that the area is sparsely populated but advised anyone living there to remain indoors with doors locked.
At Foresthill High School, Principal Randy Ittner said he began working with Foresthill Divide Middle School representatives and the Sheriff’s Office at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Office had four deputies at the high school and three at the middle school Thursday morning.
Ittner said school officials and deputies delayed the start of classes to 10 a.m. Thursday as a safety measure that would allow later school bus rounds. The school also sent a automated call to parents Wednesday night to inform them of the manhunt.
Teachers met early Thursday to discuss security issues before school, Ittner said, and half a dozen deputies remained outside the high school at 10:30 a.m.
“The nice thing is we have a safe school plan,” the principal said. That includes fire drills, earthquake drills and supplies available in classrooms if they are locked.
On Main Street in Foresthill, just up the road from the high school, is Stone’s Brew Coffee Shop, a general store, fire department and Foresthill Barber Shop.
Pat Cady, proprietor of the only barber shop in town, said locals seem to be taking the fugitive hunt in stride. The biggest excitement, he said, came Wednesday when more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles “were boogieing through” with lights and sirens.
Matt Irwin, 16, a Foresthill High School junior, said there is some fear in the community “because there’s just a bunch of escaped fugitives hanging around. But it happens every now and then.”
“Whenever somebody escapes, they try to make it to Foresthill because they feel like they can hide in the trees. But it never really works out.
“Personally, my parents don’t want me to go home alone because they’re afraid that there might be people hanging around in our backyard.”
Deputies ask anyone who sees the men to call 911. Anyone with information that would assist in the search can call the Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.
Cathy Locke contributed to this report.