Robbery suspect leads car chase

An alleged armed robber led police on a chase through Carson City and Washoe Valley before losing control and wrecking his vehicle south of Reno.

Bismark Venegas-Fonseca, 38, was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of armed robbery, alluding with endangerment, reckless driving, and hit and run. Bail was set at $500,000.

According to Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong, a man in a ski mask and armed with a pistol entered the El Torito Market at 308 E. Winnie Lane at about 4 p.m. and told a female employee he would shoot her if she "didn't give up the money."

The woman handed over about $300, and witnesses said the robber fled in a white Jeep Cherokee. Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers spotted the Jeep at Carson and Ninth streets.

Furlong said Carson City deputies tried to stop the Jeep at Fairview Drive and Saliman Road, but "when we went to do the stop, he fled."

The chase continued north on Saliman, went both east and west on Long Street, and eventually moved onto Carson Street and up Lakeview Hill. The pursuit reached speeds of 100 mph through Washoe Valley.

About 4:45 p.m., Venegas-Fonseca crashed at the junction of Highway 395 and Geiger Grade.

"He tried to take the turn to Virginia City and didn't make it," Furlong said.

Two other vehicles were involved, and a woman was transported to Washoe Medical Center in Reno as a precaution, the sheriff said.

"We got the ski mask, we got the gun and the witnesses identified," Furlong said.

-- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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