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Officer Fires at Fleeing Thief

Pursuit of a car from the Glendale Galleria ends when the man vanishes near Griffith Park.

January 30, 2003|Daniel Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

An officer arriving at the Glendale Galleria on Wednesday in response to a reported theft fired several shots at a fleeing suspect who tried to run over him in a Jaguar, police said.

A police chase led to the shutdown of a mile-long stretch of the Golden State Freeway as the man abandoned the car and apparently disappeared into Griffith Park.

The incident began just after 2 p.m. when someone reported an attempted theft by a man and woman at Nordstrom. The woman was arrested in the mall. The man, however, made it to the parking structure and was driving out when police tried to stop him. Instead, he drove toward the Glendale officer, who fired several rounds, Sgt. Kirk Palmer said. The man wasn't hit.

Police chased him to the Colorado Street onramp, where he abandoned the car. Fearing that he was armed and had fled into Griffith Park, police asked the California Highway Patrol to close the freeway in both directions between the Ventura Freeway and the Los Feliz Boulevard exit, said Officer Leticia Chang.

"In case we had to shoot, we didn't want to shoot across the freeway and hit an innocent bystander," Chang said.

Officers and a dog searched the area without success, and the freeway reopened at 4 p.m.

Police said the car was not stolen but was leased. They didn't release the suspects' names.

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Times staff writer Jia-Rui Chong contributed to this story.

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