Crews unable to locate driver of stolen van found burning in ravine

Van into ravine Scripps Ranch

SAN DIEGO – A stolen van plunged about 100 feet down a ravine and caught fire Thursday morning in Scripps Ranch.

The blaze began in the van’s engine compartment shortly before 5 a.m. but did not spread to the brush in the canyon area off Scripps Lake Drive near Scripps Ranch Boulevard, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson said.

Fire crews on the ground and in a helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging device searched the area, but did not locate the van’s driver or any passengers, Swanson said.

The van was stolen from a locked yard on Twain Avenue around 7:15 a.m.

It was not immediately clear how the fire started and investigators were summoned to the scene, according to Swanson.