Man finally arrested after alleged carjacking, hit-and-run, police chase

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — Officers finally tracked down and arrested a man Monday night after he allegedly went on a crime spree through Orange County and San Diego.

The chase started Monday evening when California Highway Patrol got a call about a hit-and-run crash on southbound Interstate 5, near the La Costa exit northeast of Encinitas. CHP learned the car involved in the crash had been reported stolen in the Orange County city of La Habra.

Investigators with the sheriff’s department were still in the area searching for the driver when a speeding minivan blew past them with the lights off, authorities said. Deputies hopped in their car and followed the driver.

As they drove, dispatchers got a call from a person who said a stranger had come into their home while they were asleep, threatened them and demanded the keys to their van. After hearing a description of the vehicle, deputies realized it was the same van they were now tracking.

CHP rejoined the chase as the van made its way south on I-5, then merged onto southbound Interstate 805 and eventually transferred to northbound Interstate 15.

The driver suddenly stopped the stolen van in the middle of traffic near El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights. Officers said he started threatening deputies and officers and was resisting arrest before they sent in a K-9 and wrestled the man into custody.

The driver — suspected of the entire spree — was identified by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department as Daniel Medina. He will face numerous charges, the department said.

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