SAN DIEGO – Two narcotics suspects have been arrested after leading police on a wild chase, tossing out more than $17,000 in cash out of their truck's windows as motorists stopped freeway traffic to grab the bills.
The pursuit began Thursday afternoon when police and federal drug agents followed two men who drove off in a pickup truck, Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Eileen Zeidler said.
The driver took officers on a circuitous route over several streets and freeways, eventually getting onto Interstate 5 at the height of rush hour. On the busy freeway, the suspects flung mostly $20 and $100 bills out of the truck's windows before surrendering to authorities.
As the cash blew across lanes, motorists slammed their brakes in the middle of the road and scrambled to pick up the bills, police Sgt. Kevin Rausis said.
"We saw people stopped on the freeway and running around," he said.
Officers following the money trail collected more than $17,200 and some passers-by later turned in cash to police.
"The way the money was being disposed of, I think it was more of a desperate measure to get rid of evidence," Rausis said.
Zeidler called the case "a significant drug investigation."