Pantless car theft suspect arrested after chase

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SABRE SPRINGS, Calif. – A man who was not wearing pants was arrested Tuesday morning after allegedly stealing a Cadillac Escalade and leading officers on a chase from San Clemente into San Diego County, the California Highway Patrol said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department initially investigated the incident at 1:20 a.m. after someone called to report the driver of the black Escalade, fearing he may be canvassing the San Clemente neighborhood looking to break into a home.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the driver unsuccessfully tried to ram one of their vehicles, deputies said. Officers chased him through the neighborhood and onto the southbound Interstate 5.

Deputies soon learned the Escalade had been stolen from Newport Beach.

Once the driver entered San Diego County, the CHP joined the pursuit. The driver then headed the wrong way on state Route 76, going east while in westbound lanes.

The Escalade eventually ended up on state Route 56, where it drove across spike strips in Sabre Springs.  Soon after, the driver jumped out of the SUV and ran into a drainage ditch. When he re-emerged, he was not wearing pants.

CHP officers quickly arrested the man, wrapping him in a blanket during the arrest. Paramedics placed him on a stretcher to treat him for unknown injuries.

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