A man was arrested early Thursday after a burglary at a pharmacy in Irvine led to a high-speed pursuit that ended when the vehicle slammed into a tree in Los Angeles.
Irvine police responded to a commercial burglary call at a pharmacy on Irvine Center Drive about 3:30 a.m. The pharmacy’s window had been smashed and several bottles of codeine and hydrocodone were taken, said police spokeswoman Kim Mohr.
Officers spotted a burgundy Honda nearby that matched a witness’ description of a vehicle leaving the pharmacy. When they tried to pull the car over, it sped off. Police pursued the vehicle to the 91 and 605 freeways in Long Beach with help from Duke, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, Mohr said.
The car crashed into a tree about 20 minutes later near Western Avenue and 98th Street in south Los Angeles.
Irvine police officers were not pursing the vehicle at the time, but the helicopter was overhead tracking the car’s movements.
Video footage showed a trash can and pill bottles strewn on the pavement outside the car after the crash.
Mohr said the driver and a male passenger ran from the car after the crash. Police took the driver into custody, but the passenger was not found. The driver’s name has not been released.