Burglary suspect caught hiding in woods after running from police

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JULIAN, Calif. — An El Cajon resident was arrested in the Julian area Friday in connection with a burglary and auto theft, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.

Mario Cunha, 30, was booked into San  Diego Central Jail after an off-road Baja Bug stolen in Borrego Springs was driven off the road on Pine Hills Road near Highway 78 and became stuck in a ditch, according to a sheriff’s department statement.

It happened early Friday morning when a sheriff’s deputy investigating a residential burglary in the 3300 block of Pine Hills Road saw a vehicle drive onto the victim’s property. Thinking this may be the burglar returning for more property, the deputy tried to contact the driver, who drove away.

Other deputies in the area located the vehicle in a ditch after the driver failed to negotiate a turn from Pine Hills Road onto Highway 78.

The driver fled on foot in a heavily wooded area, but he was located after a search involving a sheriff’s helicopter and a K-9 unit.

Stolen property was found inside the Baja Bug, deputies said.

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