Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), combined to arrest 10 suspects for burglary after tracking their vehicles with helicopters during a high-speed chase that started in Yorba Linda, California.
The sheriff’s deputies, local police, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) dispatched their personnel and multiple helicopters at 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 5 following the alleged burglary of a retail store.
The OCSD said the store was burglarized by eight adults and two juveniles, who fled in two separate vehicles when they were discovered. Police were able to pull over one vehicle—but the other led three helicopters and numerous patrol cars on a 30-minute chase over Orange County freeways.
Carrie Braun, director of public affairs for the OCSD, told The Epoch Times that the fleeing vehicle reached “very, very high speeds” of up to 150 miles per hour during the chase.
The incident began when a security guard patrolling a shopping center reported a burglary in progress at a retail store in the 18300 block of Imperial Highway.
Braun said the security guard provided “a description of the vehicle and a description of the individuals who he observed,” and alerted the OCSD to look for a gray BMW and a white Ford Mustang.
Sheriff’s deputies soon located and stopped the BMW. Stolen property was discovered in the vehicle, and five adult males and one male juvenile were taken into custody.
The deputies then requested the assistance of the Anaheim Police Department, who responded, located, and pursued the fleeing Mustang for a short distance while the OCSD helicopter was dispatched.
The helicopter team soon located the Mustang, and followed the speeding car as it maneuvered on Orange County freeways.
The CHP and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also dispatched helicopters, along with ground units, joining the pursuit.
“There were some law enforcement agencies—I believe CHP and other agencies—who were following and being directed by the helicopter, who was able to keep up with the vehicle” as it reached its very high speeds, Braun said.
Helicopter footage shows the individuals throwing items out of the window of the Mustang during the pursuit. Deputies later searched the area and discovered two handguns.
The vehicle eventually stopped on the side of the freeway in Gardena, where four people—three adult males and one male juvenile—exited the vehicle, fleeing on foot into a brush-filled area and running to nearby buildings.
“They were located nearby in a business complex,” Braun said, where all four suspects were apprehended.
“Local law enforcement were able to take the individuals on foot into custody using information from a helicopter,” she said.
Officers then discovered stolen merchandise in the vehicle. “Our investigators collected a significant amount of property,” Braun said.
Additional investigation revealed that the stolen merchandise was linked to other burglaries in two “nearby cities.”
“They’re taking that property that was collected from their vehicles and trying to tie it to other known burglaries,” Braun said.
The suspects were identified as Ali Abdullah, 22; Victor Delatorre, 24; Justin Fernandez, 20; Ronaldo Sanchez, 21; Maricio Felixfigueroa, 22; Jason Felix, 18; Javier Fernandez, 22; Gilberto Diaz, 21; and two juveniles, both 17.
Specific charges against the individual suspects were not reported, and the name of the retail store was withheld because the investigation is still active, according to Braun.
If citizens witness suspicious activity, they are encouraged to contact law enforcement officials rather than trying to investigate themselves.
“If any individual sees a suspicious or criminal activity, reporting it as soon as they can to law enforcement provides the opportunity for law enforcement to respond and have a better opportunity to investigate, to contact possibly the individuals, and to determine what happened,” Braun said.
“It was the quick reporting by the security guard that allowed our deputies to swiftly respond, and then take these individuals into custody.”