A suspected car thief was finally captured early Saturday, hours after abandoning a stolen Honda Accord that had been the subject of a wild high-speed chase over Los Angeles-area streets and freeways from the San Fernando Valley to South Los Angeles and back again.
Still something of a mystery was the woman in the passenger’s seat who jumped out of the car as it came to a brief stop on a street in Burbank. She fled on foot but was arrested a half-hour later. There was no immediate word if she was a willing participant in the theft and chase or had been forced to go along against her will.
Authorities took the car-thief suspect who was driving, identified as Antonio Regalado, into custody at 2 a.m., Officer Raymond Baron of the Los Angeles Police Department‘s West L.A. Division told City News Service.
The K-9 Unit helped locate Regalado — a 22-year-old Los Angeles resident with numerous outstanding warrants and aliases — at his home, Baron said. He was then transferred to the LAPD’s Mission Division station.
The LAPD began the pursuit at 9:45 p.m. Friday, with TV news helicopters picking up on the chase with live video at about 10 p.m. as the driver headed south on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank.
Regalado then made the transition to the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway at the Arroyo Seco Parkway near downtown Los Angeles, before exiting and driving erratically on streets, eventually getting back on the same freeway headed north.
He then transitioned onto the northbound Golden State before merging onto the westbound Ventura (134) Freeway in Burbank. When he exited onto the street, the woman got out of the vehicle at 10:35 p.m., Officer Peter Bishop of the California Highway Patrol said, adding that she was placed under arrest at 11 p.m. Her name was not immediately available, nor was her role in the incident explained.
Regalado himself drove to the windy hillside road of Coldwater Canyon Drive from the valley back to the Beverly Hills area. TV video lost track of the car in the hilly, dark terrain as the chase continued.
The suspect was able to get out of the car on foot at 10:40 p.m., Bishop said, leading to the temporary establishment of a perimeter in the area of Coldwater Canyon Drive and Cherokee Lane near the Los Angeles-Beverly Hills border, as officers pursued the suspect on foot.
— From Staff and Wire Reports