Local News in Brief : Westminster : Man Held After Crash Ends Chase on Freeway

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and evading arrest Wednesday after a high-speed chase from Westminster to Long Beach and back, police said.

Philip John Vespia of Westminster was arrested after the van he was driving hit a brick wall near the 14600 block of Golden West Street, Police Officer Bob Amren said.

Amren said an unidentified motorist reported a van and its driver had aroused the motorist's suspicions early Wednesday. A short time later, an officer spotted the van at the corner of Westminster Boulevard and Springdale Street, and a license plate check revealed that the van had been reported stolen in Westminster on Jan. 4.

Amren said the driver of the van failed to stop when the officer ordered him to pull over. He said the officer then pursued the vehicle north on the San Diego Freeway. The chase that followed lasted 35 minutes and at some points reached speeds of 100 m.p.h., Amren said, with the chase finally ending at railroad tracks near the freeway and Golden West Street.

Amren said Vespia, who is also a suspect in a Long Beach burglary, was not injured in the crash. He said Vespia is being held in Orange County Jail.

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