MURRIETA, Calif. – A car carrying three people suspected of burglarizing dozens of homes led authorities on a wild chase across several Southern California counties Wednesday after sheriff's deputies said they came face to face with the trio leaving a home they had just burglarized.
The pursuit, which began in Lancaster on route 138 at about 10:30 a.m., finally ended about 12:45 p.m. when the final two of three suspects surrendered. One had jumped out of the car earlier and been arrested.
The car had suffered a flat tire on the passenger side, and then the person in the backseat rolled out of the car and was taken into custody. The driver's speeds approached 100 mph at times.
The car stopped several times during the televised chase, including once when the driver jumped out, tried unsuccessfully to carjack another vehicle, then jumped back in and sped away despite being surrounded by patrol cars.
The pursuit began after Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies received an anonymous call that a home was being burglarized in the unincorporated Lake Los Angeles area about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles, police said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Press Information Officer Lt. Wallace Fullerton told FOX news that police got the first call at 10:30 am Pacific time of a burglary in progress at a home in the Lake Los Angeles area. "When police arrived the suspects were there and took off and the chase ensued around 10:40am," he said.
The suspects are believed to have burglarized as many as 30 homes in the Lake Los Angeles area in the last month, often stealing weapons, authorities said.
Fullerton added, "Several firearms were taken in these robberies. There are two male suspects and one female suspect."
The car chase went from Lancaster and continued into Riverside County, where the suspects' car slowed on Interstate 15 near Lake Elsinore where the flat tire occurred due to a spike strip. The car stopped briefly and then sped off south-bound I-15, with patrol cars in pursuit. The deputies handed the situation off to the California Highway Patrol once the car entered I-15.
The car then exited the interstate in the Wildomar area and stopped in an intersection. The driver jumped out and attempted to carjack a car at a stoplight. That motorist sped away before the suspect could fully open the car door. The CHP again chased the vehicle southbound along the 15 freeway in the direction of San Diego County.
The suspect jumped back into his own car as CHP cars swooped in and seemed to have it pinned. KABC-TV's helicopter reporter said there appeared to be gunfire there before the car managed to get free and sped off toward Murietta, where the remaining two people eventually surrendered after a standoff on a rural road.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.