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Man faces theft and DUI charges after allegedly taking police car

Posted on in DUI

A multi-agency police chase took place on Oct. 2 when a man allegedly stole a police cruiser from the annual "Tour de Poway" cycling event and drove it -- possibly while under the influence -- to the Carmel Valley area of northwest San Diego. Law enforcement booked the 30-year-old man into the San Diego County Jail after the 38-minute chase on suspicion of felony theft and felony evading, drunk driving, and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Authorities claim the man stole a police cruiser that was being used by volunteer officers assisting with traffic control during the annual cycling event. Police claim the man took the vehicle while two volunteer officers were standing nearby. A Sheriff's deputy spotted the vehicle moments later and began the police chase. The SDPD and the California Highway Patrol also joined in the ground pursuit.

A Sheriff's helicopter was called in to assist in tracking the vehicle, allowing law enforcement on the ground to back-off in their pursuit. Authorities say that after roughly 38 minutes, the man found himself blocked into a cul de sac in the Carmel Valley area and attempted to drive through a fence in order to reach an adjacent street.

When law enforcement converged on the area, the man threw the vehicle into reverse, backed slowly toward the officers and jumped out of the vehicle. He was surrounded by officers with the California Highway Patrol, San Diego Police and Sheriff's deputies and surrendered.

Bail was set at $50,000 after the alleged incident. News reports do not indicate what led authorities to suspect the man was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, he now faces a list of charges, including felony evading, felony theft of an on-call emergency vehicle, misdemeanor drunk driving, and misdemeanor driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Source: KGTV San Diego, "Man Who Stole Sheriff's Cruiser Arrested After Pursuit," Oct. 3, 2011

Tagged in: DUI felonies
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