Stolen Van Driver Sentenced for Pursuit That Ended in Crash in Hollywood

Los Angeles police detain a driver in Hollywood who led officers on a pursuit on Jan. 9, 2019. (Credit: Sky5)

Los Angeles police detain a driver in Hollywood who led officers on a pursuit on Jan. 9, 2019. (Credit: Sky5)

A man who led authorities on an erratic pursuit from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood in a stolen work van earlier this year was sentenced on Friday, prosecutors said.

Karapet Kirpichyan, 46, of North Hollywood, was sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison after negotiating a plea agreement with prosecutors, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Kirpichyan pleaded no contest in April to taking a vehicle without consent and using the van in an assault with a deadly weapon.

The defendant had been convicted before of driving a vehicle without consent, the DA’s office said.

The police chase occurred Jan. 9, after Kirpichyan stole the van from the 10700 block of Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood. Officers spotted the vehicle in the 6900 block of Ranchito Avenue in Van Nuys and a pursuit ensued.

Kirpichyan led authorities south on the 101 Freeway before exiting onto surface streets at Hollywood Boulevard.

While turning from the off-ramp, the van ran into the back of another car getting off the freeway, causing the victim’s car to spin out into traffic.

The van was damaged but continued driving, at times on the wrong side of the road on busy Hollywood streets including along the Walk of Fame.

The chase ended in a crash along Highland Avenue south of Sunset Boulevard.

Kirpichyan collided with multiple other vehicles, injuring their occupants, and also knocked down a light pole, according to prosecutors.

He was previously facing hit-and-run charges in the case but did not plead to those as part of his negotiated plea agreement. If convicted on all the initial charges, Kirpichyan could have faced up to 13 years in prison.

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