Driver of stolen SUV leads sheriff's deputies on wild high-speed chase before crash in downtown LA

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Thursday, September 22, 2022
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The driver of a stolen SUV led sheriff's deputies on a wild high-speed chase through southeast Los Angeles County before crashing in downtown L.A.

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A man behind the wheel of a stolen SUV on Wednesday afternoon led sheriff's deputies on a wild high-speed chase through southeast Los Angeles County before crashing in downtown L.A., authorities said.

The pursuit, which began in East L.A., made its way on surface streets through the cities of Vernon and Huntington Park before entering Boyle Heights.

At one point as many as half a dozen L.A. County sheriff's patrol vehicles were behind the Jeep Cherokee as the speeding driver remained elusive.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers joined the chase as it became more and more dangerous, with the suspect narrowly avoiding pedestrians in crosswalks and innocent motorists in rush-hour traffic.

A spike strip was deployed at one point, but it was unclear if any of the SUV's tires were punctured as a result.

'True Crime: On the Run' gives an inside look at police chases

After driving into downtown L.A.'s fashion district, the driver jumped out of the vehicle as it was still moving and made a run for it near the Santee Alley. The SUV crashed into a light pole at low speed.

No law enforcement personnel were immediately at the scene, apparently because they had transitioned into tracking mode due to the suspect's erratic driving and high speeds.

Details of when and where the vehicle was stolen were not immediately available.