Car-theft suspect runs across freeway, jumps in ocean

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — An auto theft suspect being chased by police through Carlsbad Friday sprinted across Interstate 5 and plunged into the ocean in a failed bid to evade arrest, authorities reported.

The foot pursuit began about 12:30 p.m., when officers spotted a stolen truck in the 6100 block of Paseo del Norte, just south of Palomar Airport Road, Lt. Greg White said. As they approached a man in the area of the vehicle, he bolted, White said.

The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Christopher Sean Mastas of Encinitas, ran off to the west, managing to safely cross the nearby freeway and continuing on for about a half-mile until he reached South Carlsbad State Beach, according to White.

Mastas then dived into the surf and began swimming away to the south, he said.

With help from a sheriff’s helicopter crew and lifeguards, officers were able to capture the suspect and pull him to shore.

Mastas was booked into county jail on suspicion of vehicle burglary, auto theft and resisting arrest.

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