Pair in Suspected Stolen Car Held After 4-County Chase

TIMES STAFF WRITER

California Highway Patrol officers early Wednesday laid down a bed of spikes and then rammed a stolen car on California 118 east of Ventura to stop the vehicle after a chase through four counties, authorities said.

No one was hurt during the pursuit, which began near Lake Elsinore about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said. Jason Lee Mitchell, 20, of Lake Elsinore and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested on suspicion of auto theft and evading arrest.

CHP officers chased a 1987 Honda Accord from Riverside County through Orange and Los Angeles counties, said CHP Officer Mike Martin.

The car entered Ventura County northbound on the Ventura Freeway, and officers pursued it into Ventura, reaching speeds of 80 m.p.h. Just south of California 126, they pulled out a spike strip on the road, about 20 feet long and 6 feet wide, Martin said.

The two left wheels of the car were punctured and lost air slowly, Martin said. The car then exited at Seaward Avenue, and Ventura police followed it to Saticoy Avenue, where the chase moved to eastbound California 118. Near Vineyard Avenue, the car nearly hit California Transportation Department employees working on the highway.

Within minutes, Martin said, he rammed the stolen vehicle from the side with his patrol car and sent the Honda spinning. After it stopped, officers arrested the pair, he said. The suspects did not appear at the time to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Martin said.

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