Victim in Freeway Gun Holdup Plays Catch Up and Gets Even

Times Staff Writer

An Irvine man chased down three men who had stolen his handguns in a roadside holdup on the Riverside Freeway in Yorba Linda on Sunday, forcing them at riflepoint to return his property, officials said.

The 5:13 p.m. incident occurred on the Riverside Freeway at Gypsum Canyon Road in unincorporated Orange County. No injuries were reported, although the victim fired a shot into the ground to persuade his three assailants to turn over his guns, Brea police investigating the incident said.

The victim, Thomas Adcock, 42, and an unidentified man were taken into custody after the incident by officers from the California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff's Department and Brea Police Department who responded to the scene. Adcock was released pending further investigation, while the suspect was booked in the Orange County Jail under $10,000 bond on suspicion of grand theft, assault with a deadly weapon and displaying a firearm.

Brea Police Lt. Cliff Trimble said Adcock and a friend in another car had been stopped under the Gpysum Canyon Road overpass to talk when a third car pulled up and three men jumped out. The men demanded gas money and after a verbal altercation the suspect who was later arrested grabbed a pouch containing three handguns out of Adcock's car, Trimble said. The suspect's associates were not held by authorities.

According to Trimble, the man took one of the guns, aimed it at Adcock and pulled the trigger twice, but the weapon did not fire. The man and his companions then jumped in their car and sped away. Adcock pursued the men in his vehicle and pulled over when he spotted them stopped 300 yards down the freeway, Trimble said.

He jumped out with his rifle, confronted the suspects and demanded the return of his pistols. When the suspects turned over only two of the pistols, Adcock fired his rifle into the ground demanding return of the third. A CHP officer rolled up on the scene at that time and called for help to confiscate the weapons and make arrests.

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