Chase ends in crash, small brush fire after armed robbery at Carl's Jr. in Riverside

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A police chase ended with a crash and a small brush fire Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Riverside after police responded to an armed robbery of a Carl's Jr., authorities said. (KABC)

A police chase ended with a crash and a small brush fire Thursday afternoon in Riverside after police responded to an armed robbery of a Carl's Jr., authorities said.

Officers were summoned about 4:30 p.m. to the fast-food restaurant at Magnolia Avenue and Ross Street, according to the Riverside Police Department. About 10 minutes later, patrol officers spotted a car matching the description of the suspect's vehicle.

The officers contacted the two occupants of the car, one of whom then fled on foot as the other drove off. A pursuit ensued and continued for several miles into a residential area, police said, and the suspect's car crashed in a long driveway on a dead-end street.

The driver "gassed it over the edge and then he hit a rock," witness Elizabeth Lau said, "and then his car exploded."

"I thought he was dead but somehow he got out," she said.

The flames resulted in a brush fire in the area of Kingdom Drive and Mountain House Drive, investigators said. The driver was taken into custody and firefighters extinguished the blaze.

The apprehended suspect was not immediately identified. The vehicle's passenger remained at large.

Although the modus operandi of Thursday's robbery was similar to a string of recent holdups at fast-food restaurants in Orange County, it was not immediately clear if either the person in custody or his accomplice was the man wanted in the previous robberies.

Officer Ryan Railsback, spokesman for the Riverside Police Department, said investigators from that agency "are in communication with the Orange County lead agencies to determine if this person may be the same person. Right now we're not completely sure."

Related Topics:
police chasebrush firecrashrobberyRiverside CountyRiverside
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