LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – A suspected car thief tried to surrender to the authorities after a chase through Los Angeles on Thursday, but ended up waiting for 20 minutes — and then walking away — because police had given up chasing him.
The pursuit began after Los Angeles Police Department spotted a suspected stolen vehicle, a white Kia, in downtown Los Angeles just before 10 p.m., according to an officer with the LAPD.
The California Highway Patrol then picked up the pursuit, which traveled to the San Fernando Valley, then back toward downtown Los Angeles on the 5 Freeway before exiting onto the 110 Freeway.
The Kia exited near the University of Southern California campus and began to run red lights, prompting the CHP to end its pursuit. The LAPD tracked the car for a bit, then pulled off as well.
By 11 p.m., the driver seemed to be going in circles in a residential area of Jefferson Park, with no police vehicles nearby. A passenger ran from the vehicle at one point while the driver continued on.
About a half-hour later, the driver stopped his car in the parking lot of a Ralphs supermarket, got out, and put his hands above his head, despite the lack of law enforcement officers near him.
He then laid on the ground for around 20 minutes in an apparent attempt to surrender, though no one was trying to take him into custody. Video obtained by WFXR’s sister station, KTLA, shows a woman instructing the man to get up off the ground, at which point he walks off into the parking lot.
An officer with the LAPD told Nexstar on Saturday that officers called off the chase because the “risk of the pursuit … didn’t outweigh the risk to the public” once the driver left the freeway.
He added that the suspect has likely been identified, but could not confirm whether the driver had been apprehended as of Saturday morning.