Three people were arrested after a short police pursuit Thursday in connection with an attempted theft outside a Huntington Beach business, officials said.
The men were taken into custody after officers observed one of them allegedly stealing money and valuables from a vehicle, as the other two were in a getaway car, the Huntington Beach Police Department said in a news release Friday. But detectives say they believe that all three men are a part of a criminal organization with ties to other recent burglaries and thefts throughout Southern California.
The department has been working with local businesses in Huntington Beach to implement proactive theft prevention measures.
“Due to these efforts, Detectives received a tip from a local business of a potential theft in advance,” the department said.
Officers established surveillance in the area while a police helicopter observed from overhead.
Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, officers in the helicopter witnessed a man stealing what was deemed to be thousands of dollars in cash and valuables from a vehicle in the business’s parking lot.
Officers descended upon the suspected thief, who then jumped into a waiting vehicle and fled from the parking lot at a high rate of speed, police said.
The helicopter followed the vehicle from above as a short pursuit ensued, ending in the suspect vehicle crashing near Edinger Avenue and Fortuna Lane.
At that time, all three occupants in the vehicle fled on foot but officers quickly apprehended them.
The three people have been identified as Aaron Duran, 22 years old of Las Vegas; Richard Hamilton, 22 years old of Alameda; and Kendrick West, 26 years old of Vallejo, police said.
They were arrested and charged on suspicion of various crimes, including grand theft and resisting
and obstructing an officer.