A motorcyclist Monday allegedly stole a California Highway Patrol cruiser near Temecula, then carjacked a motorist and later stole a third vehicle — all the while leading law enforcement officers on a pursuit through Riverside, San Diego and Orange counties that finally ended in Mission Viejo.
The suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Adolfo Makana Moreno Jr. of Vista, was spotted by a CHP officer about 9:45 a.m. in De Luz, southwest of Temecula, according to the CHP.
The agency said that the patrolman pulled the man over for driving without a helmet, but when the motorcyclist stopped, he bailed off the bike and ran.
The patrolman chased him but lost sight of him, and the suspect ran back to the patrol car, jumping inside and speeding away, according to the CHP.
Authorities said the suspect made his way into Temecula with Riverside County law enforcement officers on his tail. Minutes later, he crashed the cruiser into a curb on Jefferson Avenue just north of Rancho California Road, abandoned the vehicle and forcibly took a Lexus from a motorist in a parking lot, then headed south on Interstate 15.
The man fled into San Diego County, where he was involved in a four-vehicle, non-injury collision on southbound Interstate 5 at Manchester Avenue in Cardiff, according to the CHP.
The suspect then fled on foot from that location onto local streets and eventually found an unoccupied Toyota Prius with the keys inside. He stole the vehicle and continued to flee.
“The pursuit continued north on I-5 into Orange County,” according to a CHP statement.
The chase ended shortly after 11 a.m. in the area of La Mancha and El Toboso in Mission Viejo, where Moreno was taken into custody without further incident, the CHP reported.
Moreno was booked at the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of carjacking, reckless evading, taking a vehicle without consent, battery and hit and run, according to the CHP.