Three thieves commandeered a couple's BMW on a Pacific Beach roadside today, then abandoned the sedan on a nearby freeway and made a failed attempt to escape on foot when officers caught up with them.
The carjackers accosted the victims, who had just pulled over in the 3780 block of Ingraham Street and gotten out of the blue-gray BMW, and threatened them with a gun about 11:40 a.m., according to San Diego police.
After pushing the man and woman back into the car, the bandits got in and drove off to the south.
A witness made an emergency call to report the carjacking, and officers began searching for the stolen vehicle, SDPD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
About five minutes later, personnel aboard a police helicopter spotted the BMW on eastbound Interstate 8 in Mission Valley and directed ground units to the area.
As officers in squad cars approached, the driver pulled over on the left-hand side of the freeway, and the thieves got out of the sedan and ran across the traffic lanes and into the adjacent commercial district.
Several minutes later, officers with a service dog found the three suspects hiding in bushes near a motel and took them into custody, Munoz said.
Their names were not immediately available.
Authorities closed the left-hand lane of the freeway in the area along with a nearby connector ramp as the search and arrests played out.
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