A man who allegedly broke into a Santa Ana home early Thursday choked the homeowner, stole the family's vehicle and crashed it on the 5 Freeway before getting away, police said.
The incident unfolded about 5 a.m. in a home along the 900 block of West Riviera Drive, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told KTLA.
The burglar was confronted by a barking family dog, and the man threw a chair at the pet. The homeowner, who was sleeping on the couch, woke up during the commotion and tried to get away, before the man threw a chair at her too, Bertagna said. The man then grabbed the victim by the throat and demanded her car keys. The woman complied and the man ran out the front door where he was captured on the home's surveillance video.
The video, released by police Thursday, shows the man trying to open the door of a Ford pickup using the keys, but failing. The man then runs to the other family car, steals it and drives away, police said in a news release.
While searching for the man, California Highway Patrol officers spotted the stolen vehicle after the suspect had apparently crashed into the center divider of the 5 Freeway at Main Street. The man then got away and he remains at large, police said.
The man is seen on surveillance video attempting to break into two other homes in the neighborhood before being successful.
Anyone with information about the man can call 714-245-8362.