A suspected car thief wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey while perched on the roof of a Fullerton apartment building, smoking cigarettes and threatening to jump, finally surrendered early Wednesday, police said.
The standoff at the three-story apartment building in the 400 block of Baker Avenue just south of West Orangethorpe Avenue began about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and ended shortly after midnight, according to authorities.
The incident began in Anaheim a couple of hours before the start of the standoff when Randy Dowling stole a 1996 Honda Prelude, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Glenn Gate.
“We got the call about the stolen car around 4:30 p.m.,” Gate said. The car had LoJack installed on it and it was traced to a Walmart parking lot at 88 E. Orangethorpe Ave. in Anaheim.”
Gate said Anaheim police officers went to the Walmart, but Dowling spotted them before they found his car and he drove away toward Fullerton.
“We were not in pursuit,” Gate said.
Dowling fled into Fullerton, where he crashed the stolen Honda into an apartment building in the 400 block of West Orangethorpe Avenue, said Fullerton Police Sgt. Kathryn Hamel.
The suspect then ran through the building and up to a nearby third floor roof, where police officers tried to talk him into surrendering, Hamel said. That rooftop was over part of the apartment complex that sits in the 400 block of Baker Avenue, Gate said.
Fullerton firefighters were dispatched to the location in case medical services were needed. But no injuries were reported, Hamel said.
After more than five-and-a-half hours of negotiations, Dowling finally surrendered to Fullerton Police at 12:05 a.m., Gate said.
“Fullerton Police took him into custody and then turned him over to us,” Gate told CNS early this morning. “He has since been transported back to Anaheim, where he will be booked on auto theft and resisting arrest charges.”
—City News Service