SAN DIEGO – MPs said a man stole an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme from a San Diego home as he tried to evade authorities on Thursday, leading them into a high-speed chase into the stolen car.
Agents from a private security firm in Rancho Santa Fe called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at around 7:30 a.m. about an apparent accident on Puerta Del Sol, a tree-lined street in the neighborhood dotted with private aisles.
Firefighters arrived first and found a man, whom authorities later identified as Jason Collins, 48, sitting asleep or unconscious in a parked car with a woman. First responders saw a handgun in the car, according to the sheriff’s department, and the man told them to “come back” when they woke him up to see if he was okay.
The firefighters returned, leaving room for the sheriff’s deputies who surrounded the vehicle and awaited the arrival of a police helicopter and a K-9 unit. At one point amid the commotion, authorities say the man slipped from his car.
“Several residents began calling the sheriff’s communications center stating that a man matching Collins’ description had been seen on their property,” the sheriff’s department wrote in a press release.
The next time they saw Collins, he was speeding down the driveway of a house near Via Del Alba, driving the old-school Cutlass from 1987, the department said. A 911 caller confirmed that the man had just picked up the vehicle for their home.
The deputies tried to stop the man, but he was able to escape from the area. Authorities pursued him until they could get a strip of spikes in the road, flattening the tires of the stolen car on El Camino Real near Del Mar Heights Road, further south in the city of San Diego. . “Collins was taken into custody without further incident,” officials said.
MPs never found the handgun spotted by firefighters, which Collins said was a toy. Authorities also learned that Collins’ partner had been his girlfriend. She was not injured and is not a suspected felony, according to the sheriff’s department.
Collins was incarcerated in Vista on suspicion of burglary and charges related to the prosecution.
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