After the chase ended, police identified the suspect as Richard Bloustine, a parolee wanted on a no-bail warrant.
Laguna Beach police say he has an extensive criminal history which includes fraud and assault with a deadly weapon.
"We are all glad the events today ended peacefully," the department tweeted.
Bloustine's extensive criminal history was documented in an Orange County Register report in 2016. That year he was sentenced to seven years in prison for grand theft, writing bad checks and taking a car without permission.
He had previous convictions for grand theft in 2004 and 2008 in Santa Barbara County. He was also convicted of fraud in 1996 in Hawaii and again three years later in Arizona.
Wednesday's chase began just after 3 p.m. in the Laguna Beach area when officers tried to pull Bloustine over and he took off.
The suspect in a C-class Mercedes sedan was in cellphone contact with authorities and said he was armed and he wouldn't get out of the car unless the police shot him.
The chase moved from Laguna northbound on the 73 through Orange County into the Costa Mesa area. Eventually he exited onto surface streets in the Irvine area. He then proceeded into Newport Beach.
Driving at moderate speeds, he circled several times through neighborhoods near the Fashion Island shopping complex.
He was running through red lights and driving in opposite lanes at times in his efforts to evade authorities.
CHP and Orange County Sheriff's Department officers were assisting in the chase.
About an hour after the chase began, the suspect ended up boxed in at a parking lot on San Nicolas Drive in Newport Beach near Fashion Island.
Sheriff's deputies were assuming tactical positions with weapons drawn and a K-9 unit available as they waited and tried to convince the suspect to surrender. They blocked off traffic in the area and were evacuating people in the vicinity.
"Time is on our side," said Sgt. Jim Cota with the Laguna Beach Police Department. "As long as we can get bystanders out of the area, we'll sit here as long as we need to wait for him."
"We're just hoping for a peaceful conclusion at this point."
After about 40 minutes, SWAT officers moved an armored BearCat-type vehicle into position behind the suspect's Mercedes.
Shortly after that, Bloustine emerged from the vehicle, got on the ground and surrendered.
He was taken into custody without further incident. It wasn't clear if he was in fact armed.