Wanted car theft suspect still on the loose

Man wanted for string of car thefts in Butte County

CHICO, Calif. - Chico police are still trying to find a man they say stole 13 vehicles over the span of a month in the southern part of the city.

"It was odd in that a lot of the vehicles were marked with construction company names and such," said Lieutenant Mike O'Brien.

Investigators say 25-year-old Michael Hubburt is responsible for this crime spree.  Chico police say- he has been taking Ford trucks and vans - either F250's or F350's.

"We have a pretty good idea what technique he's using to steal these vehicles.  We are not going to release that publicly but his purpose stealing these cars, that is still a mystery," said O'Brien.

Investigators say Hubburt starting stealing these trucks and vans back on August 10.  Ten different incidents have been reported in south part of Chico near East 20th Street and five of those vehicles have been found so far.

"Most of the vehicles that we have recovered so far have not been stripped.  They seemed to be intact for the most part," said O'Brien.

On Tuesday- Chico police came very close to catching Hubburt.  They got a call around 7 p.m. and allegedly saw Hubburt and his girlfriend Rikki Philbrook driving an F-350 van that belonged to A-1 Plumbing.   Officers chased the couple.  Philbrook was found and arrested but Hubburt, they say, got away.

Chico police also learned that two other trucks were taken in that area.  One was found at Winco Foods and the other found by an alley near C and 19th Streets.  The man who did it, they say, is still on the run - and trying to hide his identity.

"Hubbard has been another name, Michael Dale Hubbard.  It's usually some variation of Hubbard or Hubburt; H-U-B-B-U-R-T," said O'Brien.

Chico police say Hubburt has an extensive criminal history-mostly in the Bay Area.  If you have any information, you're asked to call Chico police.

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