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Suspected Car Thief Leads LAPD on Bizarre and Lengthy Two-Hour Chase Through Southern California


A suspected car thief who led police on a bizarre and lengthy two-hour chase through Southern California was taken into custody Monday evening after the suspect barricaded himself inside a black Audi for nearly 90 minutes.

According to multiple local local news reports about the incident, the chase began at approximately 6:30 p.m. in the Arleta area of the San Fernando Valley where multiple Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) units followed the vehicle south on the 5 Freeway. The driver of the vehicle exited the freeway in the Burbank area where he stopped the vehicle and allowed a male passenger to exit the car about 10 minutes into the chase. The male passenger surrendered to police and was taken into custody as the Audi drove off.

The driver continued driving on surface streets in Glendale and Burbank, reportedly stopping for traffic lights and generally obeying posted speed limits, despite the growing police presence in pursuit.

Watch a lengthier version of the chase here:

Less than one hour into the chase, the Audi entered a cul-de-sac with three LAPD vehicles on its tail. None of the police units appeared to make any attempt to block the Audi’s exit, allowing the driver to simply circle the cul-de-sac, driving directly past the police cars, and exiting the dead-end.

Later in the chase, several police cars attempted to overtake the Audi using a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver, but the driver avoided each attempt.

The car reportedly ran over at least three sets of spike strips that had been laid out by police before the tires finally deflated and then fell off of the vehicle one by one. A report from City News Service said that after the first of the deflated tires fell off, the driver continued, seemingly unfazed. After all four of the deflated tires fell off, the driver lost control of the vehicle, spinning approximately 180 degrees. However, the suspect regained control of the car and continued to lead police on the chase, driving on only the car’s metal rims and consistently maintaining speeds upwards of 50 mph until around 8:05 p.m.

Once the car had stopped, the driver “barricaded himself” in the vehicle as police negotiators attempted to coax him into surrendering for nearly an hour before the LAPD eventually fired non-lethal projectiles through the vehicle’s rear window.

Local news outlet and ABC affiliate KABC reported that law enforcement vehicles surrounded the Audi just before 9 p.m. and several minutes later the driver opened the door and gave himself up to police at approximately 9:40 p.m.

He was then taken into custody without any further incident.

[image and video via YouTube/FOXLA/ABC7]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.