San Diego police shopllifting robbery
Officers untangle a wig from the cuffs on the female suspect after the pursuit ended in a crash. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

A male and female suspected of robbing a Clairemont Mesa Target Friday led police on a chase along local streets and Interstate 5 before crashing and being taken into custody.

The suspects fled the store, at 5680 Balboa Ave., after allegedly taking more than $1,000 in merchandise, according to OnScene.TV. They are also accused of assaulting a Target security employee who attempted to stop them.

The employee told San Diego police that the duo left in a BMW SUV that headed west on Balboa from the store parking lot.

Officers located the vehicle and followed the suspects while the police department’s ABLE helicopter joined the chase, which led to southbound I-5.

The female driver drove erratically and at high speeds, police said, before taking the Clairemont Avenue exit. She returned to the freeway, though, continuing south to the Old Town Avenue offramp.

The driver lost control of the BMW in the 1900 block of Hancock Street around 10 a.m., crashing into a palm tree.

The male suspect fled on foot, leaving the woman behind. He ran back toward the freeway, and made his way over a fence, but officers caught up and arrested him.

Police arrested the driver at the crash scene. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment of an injury suffered in the crash.

Investigators learned that that the BMW is a rental. They found the stolen items – many of which appeared to be travel mugs for coffee – in the back of the SUV.