HEMET: Subject arrested after high-speed pursuit, crash

Officers flooded into the neighborhood at the end of the pursuit. John Strangis photo

HEMET — Officer’s arrested an alleged car thief at the end of an early-morning vehicle pursuit this morning, Saturday, May 27. The 15-minute-long pursuit ended when the driver of the stolen car lost control and crashed into a fence.

The alleged suspect was arrested after he fled from the car and was later apprehended by officers while he was hiding in a residential back yard.

The incident began about 5:30 a.m., when a Hemet police officer spotted the stolen vehicle. When the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop the driver, who has not yet been named by officials, refused to pull over. The driver sped away from the officer, who initiated a pursuit of the stolen vehicle.

Other officers quickly joined the pursuit that wound its way through town, as the suspect fled along main streets and through residential neighborhoods.

During the pursuit the suspect drove in an extremely reckless manner, without regard for the safety of other citizens or pursuing officers.

Making the high-speed pursuit even more dangerous, the stolen car’s right front tire was a completely bald, spare, “donut-style” tire.

The alleged car thief, reportedly a minor, was eventually found hiding in the back yard of a residence. John Strangis photo

The fleeing driver eventually led officers into a residential neighborhood north of W. Menlo Avenue and west of Kirby Street, where he lost control and crashed into a fence at the intersection of Ensenada Drive and Fruitvale Avenue.

After crashing the stolen car, the driver fled into the neighborhood. Citizens who witnessed the crash and saw the subject flee from the wrecked car told officers he was last seen jumping fences and running through private back yards.

Officers converged on the area and quickly established a perimeter around the a neighborhood. They then began searching yard-to-yard for the hiding subject.

Officers eventually found and arrested the person after he was found hiding in the backyard of a home in the 2600 block of W. Fruitvale Avenue.

No citizens or officers were injured during the pursuit or subsequent search.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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