High speed chase called off, pursued by air - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

High speed chase called off, pursued by air

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A suspected car thief who led San Diego law enforcement on a dangerous high-speed pursuit and his female passenger remain at large Friday morning, while the stolen car he was driving was later discovered crashed into a light pole and abandoned.

La Mesa police officers attempted to stop a stolen 1988 Toyota Camry in the parking lot of the Heritage Inn at 7851 Fletcher Parkway about 5:50 a.m., according to La Mesa police Lt. Matt Nicholass.

The man behind the wheel of the white Camry stopped the sedan briefly before speeding away, Nicholass said, noting that the pursuit went from La Mesa surface streets to westbound Interstate 8.

Once on the freeway, San Diego police and California Highway Patrol officers assisted as the Camry hit speeds up to 100 mph, Nicholass said.

The pursuit moved back onto surface streets, then northbound Interstate 5, before ending up back on surface streets, according to San Diego police.

The Camry was seen blowing through red lights and residential areas at high speeds without its headlights on, according to news reports, which also reported that somewhere in the Clairemont area, a passenger in the Camry bailed on foot.

Nicholass said the passenger was a 20-something woman in a light colored shirt, possibly with brown brushy hair or some sort of cover over her head.

Police terminated the pursuit about 6:20 a.m., with the suspect last seen heading up toward the Carmel Valley area. Within an hour, the Camry was found abandoned at Ice Skate Place and Karma Drive in Mira Mesa, police said.

The discovery prompted a temporary lockdown at nearby Hage Elementary School.

The driver apparently crashed into a light pole and fled on foot. He was described as a 20-something man with short hair.

The Camry was reported stolen in the city of San Diego on Tuesday, Nicholass said.

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