Three suspects led authorities on a pursuit that lasted more than 60 miles before they fled into The Oaks shopping mall in Thousand Oaks Monday afternoon, officials said.
The males, traveling in a newer-model Mercedes-Benz with no plates, were able to evade authorities after running into different stores at the popular mall on Hillcrest Drive, said Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Wendell Campbell.
The chase began shortly after 11 a.m. when officers on the 5 Freeway tried to pull over the speeding vehicle at Smokey Bear Road, just north of Pyramid Lake, California Highway Patrol Officer Elizabeth Kravig said.
But CHP officers lost sight of the Mercedes sedan in Castaic, near Parker Road, according to Kravig.
Campbell says Ventura County deputies were called in to assist CHP around 11:30 a.m. They tracked the vehicle through Fillmore and Moorpark before it wound up at the shopping center.
All three of the Mercedes’ occupants fled on foot upon reaching the mall. Deputies followed them in but were unable to find them, Campbell said.
The search was eventually called off after officials determined the suspects made it outside their perimeter.
“We did do a thorough search of the mall, and we’re in coordination with mall security to ensure that,” Campbell said.
The deputy said investigators are still trying to put together a description of the suspects between what they were told by callers who reported the driver’s speed and the CHP officers who were in pursuit.
“At this time, we kind of have some conflicting stuff,” Campbell said. “This is an ongoing investigation, so we’re still gathering information from security footage inside to get a final description.”