Santa Ana Police Arrest Home Invasion Suspect Who Allegedly Choked Homeowner, Stole Vehicle

Police have arrested 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. The suspect fled the scene but was apprehended the next day, the Santa Ana Police Department said in a news release.

Victor Martinez is seen in this booking photo from the Santa Ana Police Department.

Victor Martinez, 35, is charged with burglary, robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident happened at a home in the 900 block of West Riviera Drive around 5 a.m. Thursday, when the homeowner was alerted by her barking dog to a burglar inside the home.

The burglar threw a chair at the dog, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said, before he confronted the homeowner.

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.

He 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. He then stole her car and fled the scene.

The California Highway Patrol said the suspect crashed the vehicle into the center divider of the 5 Freeway at Main Street and fled the scene on foot. Officers searched the area, but the suspect was not located.

On Friday, the SAPD officer who handled the original call to the incident saw the suspect walking in the 100 block of North Flower Street, and placed him under arrest.

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