A man wanted in connection with a cellphone robbery at an Eagle Rock shopping center was arrested after being shot at and pursued by police on Wednesday, officials said.
Authorities originally responded to Eagle Rock Plaza at 2700 Colorado Blvd. around 1:15 p.m., said Sgt. Dan Suttles with the Glendale Police Department.
The mall, anchored by Macy’s and Target, is within Los Angeles city limits. But Glendale police responded because the incident was referred to them by the California Highway Patrol, which had attempted to locate the caller’s jurisdiction based on their cellphone location, Suttles said.
Suttles described the crime as a “street robbery” in which one individual tried to steal another’s cellphone at the plaza in broad daylight.
Someone on scene pointed out the suspect to the officers who responded. But when authorities approached the man, he ran away, the sergeant said.
A brief foot pursuit ensued, then the suspect got into a car.
But, according to Suttles, police had opened fire on the suspect as he entered the vehicle and began driving away.
Officers fired four shots, but they not strike anyone — although they did shatter the vehicle’s rear window, he said.
Andrew Campos, who was visiting the mall at the time, said he found two shell casings behind his own car.
“What would have happened if I would have came out earlier when it was going on? Maybe I would have been shot,” Campos said. “There’s a Chuck E. Cheese’s, so it could have been a lot worse than what it was. Anyone could have got hit by a stray bullet or any innocent person could have got injured.”
The suspect was able to drive away from the scene.
“When our officer got closer, the suspect was already starting to back up and pull away, and then fled the area,” Suttles said.
Officials later found it on Trent Way, a short distance from the 2 Freeway, and less than 2 miles south of the plaza. Footage from the scene shows a maroon Honda Civic had crashed into a retaining wall outside a home along the street and was being processed as evidence by investigators.
The suspect wasn’t with the vehicle, but officers soon received a call from a relative who, according to Suttles, said, “Hey, my family member just got home and said they were shot at by police officers. Is that true?”
Authorities advised the caller to remain where they were and arrested the suspect after responding to the location, Suttles said.
The man was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted robbery. Officials did not say whether he was armed.
Police did not immediately release the suspect’s name.
The incident, including officers’ use of lethal force, remains under investigation.