Stolen car abandoned on northbound Interstate 5 in Cardiff
One of the stolen vehicles was abandoned on northbound Interstate 5 in Cardiff. Image from CBS Los Angeles broadcast

A motorcyclist Monday stole a California Highway Patrol cruiser in Riverside County, then carjacked a motorist and later stole another vehicle in Cardiff, all the while leading law enforcement officers on a three-county pursuit that finally ended in San Juan Capistrano.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was spotted by a CHP officer about 9:45 a.m. in De Luz, southwest of Temecula, according to the CHP.

The agency said the patrolman pulled the man over for driving without a helmet, but when the motorcyclist stopped, he bailed off the bike and ran.

The patrolman chased him but lost sight of him, and the suspect ran back to the patrol car, jumping inside and speeding away, according to the CHP.

Authorities said the suspect made his way into Temecula with Riverside County law enforcement officers on his tail. Minutes later, he abandoned the cruiser and forcibly took a car from a motorist, then headed south on Interstate 15.

The man fled into San Diego County, eventually stopping in Cardiff, where he left the stolen vehicle and got into a car parked on Manchester Avenue. The CHP alleged the suspect took that vehicle and sped northbound on Interstate 5.

He pulled over and surrendered in San Juan Capistrano shortly after 11 a.m. No one was injured.

The CHP was expected to issue a statement on the arrest.

City News Service