National City police chief arrests burglary suspect at gunpoint

Local

Editor’s note: This headline has been updated to reflect the man was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — National City’s chief of police took a man into custody at gunpoint Wednesday as part of a burglary investigation and pursuit that ended in two more arrests.

It started around 5:30 a.m. when dispatchers got a 911 call about three men breaking into a locksmith’s kiosk in the South Bay Plaza on East Plaza Boulevard, Acting Sgt. Matt Cardoza said. Officers arrived and got a description of a car that had just left the scene from witnesses.

They spotted the sedan and followed it about half-a-mile to Kimball Park, where the driver apparently tried to escape along a dirt path but collided with equipment near Kimball’s skate park. Two men jumped out and tried to run away, Cardoza says.

One of them made his way to C Avenue, crossing paths with Police Chief Jose Tellez, who officers told OnScene.TV had been headed to work at the department’s station nearby. Freelance photographer video shows the chief holding the suspect at gunpoint and ordering him down on the ground. Marked patrol cars pull up behind the arrest and a uniformed officer runs over to give the chief his handcuffs.

Meanwhile, Cardoza says officers were able to track down the other two suspected burglars. One was found hiding in the back of the vehicle that led police on the chase through the park, and the other was found hiding under a tarp in a backyard near the park. A police dog was sent after that man when he refused to surrender, officers said, and he was bitten in the leg.

That man and one of the other suspects — who apparently got hurt in the initial crash — were taken to the hospital for what Cardoza described as minor injuries. They will be turned over to authorities once they are treated.

The owner of the locksmith’s business, which arrived to find his kiosk door destroyed, told OnScene.TV that the thieves had taken some equipment for programming remotes and other tools used for making house and car keys.

“Fortunately they couldn’t steal everything, because the police were informed that someone was trying to break in,” the owner said. “They got here quickly and I believe they caught three of them.”

He said thieves had tried to break into his kiosk once before. “Fortunately they got them,” this time, he told OnScene.TV. “This is life — what can you do.”

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