Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the initial cause of the chase. It was a burglary at a smoke shop, according to police, and the story has been updated.
SAN DIEGO — Police chased a car full of burglary suspects through San Diego at high speeds early Friday, ending in a manhunt near a local nature area.
The burglary was reported at a tobacco shop on Balboa Avenue in Clairemont around 4:15 a.m., a San Diego Police Department watch commander said. Workers at a nearby grocery store spotted four people with power tools loading items into their car and called 911, according to the official.
Officers started chasing the suspects as they tried to leave the area, and the driver made their way onto Interstate 805 and headed south. More officers joined as the pursuit moved back onto side streets, SDPD said, and the driver sped erratically through Mid-City neighborhoods, ignoring stop signs at times.
The car made its way down Texas Street around 4:30 a.m. and got onto Interstate 8, where the driver headed east at speeds upward of 100 miles per hour, according to police. The winding pursuit continued on state Routes 67 and 52, finally ending in a crash on SR-52 near the ramp to state Route 125.
Four people got out and ran off, according to SDPD, sprinting across the freeway. One of the suspects was caught by a police dog but three escaped into an area near Mission Trails Regional Park. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the crash.
Authorities blocked a lane on Mission Gorge Road as they expanded the search for the remaining robbery suspects. Officers were also searching the area of West Hills Parkway on the other side of the park, which is just across the border in the city of Santee.
The westbound SR-52 ramp to southbound SR-125 were closed around 5:30 a.m. but reopened within about an hour, according to Caltrans.
California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department were all involved at points of the pursuit and the manhunt that followed.