A theft at an Apple store in Brea led to a late-evening pursuit during which one of the perpetrators called a rideshare service while the others led officers on a chase that ended in a crash, authorities said Wednesday.
Officers responded to Brea Mall around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call about a group taking display merchandise from the store, Brea police Lt. Adam Hawley said. They arrived to find a vehicle leaving the area and tried to conduct a traffic stop.
But the car kept going and subsequently rammed into an undercover detective’s vehicle, police said. Authorities initiated a pursuit north of the mall toward Lambert Road near State Route 57, deploying a helicopter unit and K-9s to assist the officers.
The driver of the suspect vehicle soon rammed into a patrol car, Hawley said. When the officers finally managed to disable their car, the occupants exited and jumped over a fence along the freeway embankment, Hawley said. Police ran after them.
At some point, investigators at the scene learned that one of the suspects called a rideshare service. A patrol officer spotted him in the back of the rideshare and conducted a traffic stop. The officer was able to detain the suspect and determined that the driver was not involved in the crime, Hawley said.
Authorities took a total of four people into custody, according to police. Investigators believe they may be involved in an organized theft ring.
No officer was injured in the incident, Hawley said, but the chase left one patrol vehicle totaled.
Officials reported recovering most of the stolen merchandise.
Authorities also warned the public to take precautions when police are responding to such incidents.
“Helicopter activity and sirens typically prompt people to want to look out and see what’s going on,” Brea police tweeted. “In the event you are near the sirens and activity, please stay inside and lock your doors.”