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Pursuit of stolen Audi ends with arrest

SAN DIEGO — A suspected auto thief led authorities on a roundabout chase over inland North County roads in a stolen car Wednesday afternoon, crisscrossing through various communities before finally skidding to a halt and getting arrested.

The pursuit began about 4 p.m. on Valley Center Road, near Lazy H Drive in Pauma Valley, according to sheriff’s officials.

Deputies and California Highway Patrol officers tailed the fleeing driver over various rural roads, including state Route 76 and Old Highway 395, eventually entering Interstate 15, CHP spokeswoman Mary Bailey said.

In the area of Gomez Creek, the suspect ran over a spike strip that officers had laid across a roadway, flattening at least one tire on the stolen Audi A3.

About 4:45 p.m., the disabled car veered off the roadway after the suspect exited southbound I-15 at West Valley Parkway in Escondido. Officers then took the driver, whose name was not immediately available, into custody.