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2 jailed after 3-hour search following Newport-to-Costa Mesa police chase and traffic collision

Police launched a three-hour manhunt after a chase of a minivan reported stolen ended in a collision in the 200 block of 22nd Street in Costa Mesa.
(Daily Pilot)

Two men were in jail Friday after a police pursuit from Newport Beach to Costa Mesa the night before ended in a traffic collision and began a three-hour manhunt, police said.

At 9:15 p.m. Thursday, a Newport Beach officer saw a 1998 Toyota Sienna that had been reported stolen being driven in the area of Irvine Avenue and Dover Drive, police said. The minivan fled the officer, and police gave chase, authorities said.

About six minutes later, the Sienna was involved in a collision in the 200 block of 22nd Street in Costa Mesa, police said. Its occupants ran away, triggering a neighborhood search, police said. No one was injured in the crash, police said.

To aid the search, the Laguna Beach Police Department provided a police dog in addition to Newport Beach’s K-9 unit, authorities said. Costa Mesa police and a Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter crew assisted.


One resident said on the neighborhood social media network Nextdoor that police advised people to close their windows and doors and keep pets inside during the search.

Others on the network said officers asked to search their properties.

The search ended just after 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Two Pomona men, Louis Mercado Jr., 26, and Armando Amaya Jr., 22, were arrested.


Mercado was booked into Orange County Jail on a warrant and suspicion of vehicle theft and appropriation of lost property, with bail set at $80,000, according to jail records.

Amaya was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft, appropriation of lost property, trespassing and resisting an officer, with bail set at $20,000.