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Police Book Man After Jewelry Courier Is Injured, Van Stolen

Times Staff Writer

A jewelry courier was injured and her van containing about $100,000 worth of gems and gold was stolen in a parking lot at South Coast Plaza on Saturday, resulting in a police chase that ended in Irvine when officers set up a roadblock and arrested a 20-year-old Duarte man.

Thomas D. Bloem allegedly stole the van from the Nordstrom department store parking lot at about 5:15 p.m. Sgt. Mike Millington said the courier, Faith A. Feldman, 26, of Huntington Beach, was approached by a man armed with a 9-mm semiautomatic pistol as she prepared to leave after picking up jewelry at a mall store.

The gunman fired his weapon once, shattering the driver’s side window and narrowly missing Feldman, who was injured in the left arm by flying glass. She jumped out the passenger door and her assailant drove off in the van.

Shortly after the shooting, Officers Neil Leveratt and Les Gogerty spotted the van on Dyer Road near the Costa Mesa Freeway. Costa Mesa’s police helicopter directed the chase through rush-hour traffic to Culver and Irvine Center drives, where several Irvine police cars had set up a roadblock. “He figured he wasn’t going to get too far, so he decided to give up there,” Millington said.

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Bloem was booked at the Costa Mesa City Jail on charges of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft auto. He is expected to be arraigned Monday morning.

Feldman was treated and released at Mercy General Hospital.


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