A pursuit of a mail-theft suspect that started in Laguna Hills and wound through San Clemente on and off Interstate 5 finally ended in Downey late Friday afternoon when the driver stopped and surrendered.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Nellie Gail neighborhood about 2:40 p.m. to investigate a report of thieves stealing mail, said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.

The responding deputies saw no suspects, but deputies in the department’s helicopter eyed a car speeding out of the neighborhood, Hallock said.

The pursuit started off southbound on the Santa Ana Freeway to San Clemente where the driver turned around northbound on the freeway at speeds exceeding 80 mph, Hallock said.

The chase wound through Irvine, where the driver hopped off the freeway and led police through Santa Ana and Anaheim before getting back on the freeway to Downey, where it ended when the suspects got hemmed in at a car wash parking lot, Hallock said.

At times the driver was going the speed limit, but at other times the driving was erratic as the car went down the wrong side of the road and over center medians, Hallock said.

Three people were in custody, according to broadcast reports.

— City News Service

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