Burglar caught red-handed, cops say

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SAN DIEGO -  A man is in jail Tuesday after police say they caught him red-handed following a burglary.

A San Diego police officer spotted the man in his 20s outside a business in Stonecrest going through stolen property in his van around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Police say the man was trying to open a stolen cash register. He then got into a scuffle with the officer, jumped into a white cargo van and took off, leading police on a brief chase along the 15, 8, and 805 freeways.

Speeds reached more than 75 mph during the chase. The burglar crashed his car into a fire hydrant and two parked cars at Murray Ridge Road and Onalaska Avenue in Serra Mesa after the pursuit, police said.

The fire hydrant sent water gushing into the air, flooding the street and a nearby home. Neighbors say they woke up to a loud boom and thought someone had broken into the house.

The suspect hopped out of the van and ran off after the crash. Officers used a police dog to track the man and quickly took him into custody. Police say he had at least two cash registers and other stolen property in his van. They were working on tracking down the locations from where the property was stolen.

Heavy fog may have contributed to the crash. No one was hurt. The man faces charges for burglary, possession of stolen property, and assault on an officer.

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