Casino shoplifter led police on high-speed chase

49-year-old crashes car in Auburn
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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A Lincoln woman is sitting in jail after she led law enforcement on a high-speed chase that ended with a crash in Auburn. Sherry Sensabaugh-Rhodes of Lincoln, was ineligible for bail as of Tuesday after she was booked into Placer County Jail on several felony charges Sept. 12 including assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, evading a peace officer and possession of suspected cocaine. At about 9:44 a.m., Sensabaugh-Rhodes was caught on Thunder Valley Casino security cameras allegedly taking a purple sweater and tank top valued at about $100 to $115. When confronted by a security officer, Sensabaugh-Rhodes reportedly got into her 1996 white Suzuki Esteem and tried to leave the second floor of the casino’s parking garage. A Placer County Sheriff’s deputy was nearby and approached Sensabaugh-Rhodes by tapping on her driver’s side window and asking her to roll it down. The 49-year-old woman reportedly ignored the request and started driving her vehicle toward the security officer, according to Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy reportedly hit the window with his baton. It did not break the glass and Sensabaugh-Rhodes drove her car out of the garage. “The security officer from Thunder Valley was barely able to get out of the vehicle’s path before she sped to the exit and toward Athens Avenue,” Erwin said. The deputy followed Sensabaugh-Rhodes’ vehicle with lights and sirens on and reported that she was driving into oncoming lanes of traffic down Blue Oaks Boulevard until she made it onto Highway 65 and then Interstate 80 heading east toward Auburn. “She did not stop for any traffic signals or devices,” Erwin said. “Several civilian vehicles had to swerve off the roadway to avoid being hit.” Sensabaugh-Rhodes almost hit another vehicle crossing the Twelve Bridges Drive intersection and had two near crashes on Highway 65, Erwin added. Both Placer County Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers followed Sensabaugh-Rhodes as she continued up the freeway and turned off near the Foresthill Road exit. The high-speed pursuit continued into Downtown Auburn and ended when her vehicle hit a spike strip CHP officers laid out near Lincoln Way and Highway 49. “The vehicle went out of control and crashed into a road sign and tree,” Erwin said. Sensabaugh-Rhodes was taken into custody at the scene. In addition to finding the stolen merchandise, officers and deputies found suspected cocaine in her vehicle. She was booked into the jail on additional charges of possession of a narcotic controlled substance, petty theft with priors, and resisting or delaying a peace officer in the performance of their duties. Sensabaugh-Rhodes was also placed on a parole hold. Her next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 14 in Dept. 13 in Auburn. Reach Jenifer Gee at