An unidentified man and a woman were arrested by the Irvine Police on Wednesday following a vehicle theft and a high-speed pursuit that morphed into a long standoff.
The suspects were alleged to have stolen an Irvine resident’s car at an apartment at The Village at Irvine Spectrum, located near Irvine Center and Quasar Drives. The Irvine police received a call about the vehicle theft at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The call reported that his Ford Mustang was taken by the suspects, who were from from Los Angeles County. The victim had recently met the suspects. The responding police officers had just finished interviewing the victim when they spotted the missing car near the complex at 12:27 p.m.
When the police officers tried to conduct a traffic stop the suspects sped off and the driver blew through red lights and was speeding on and off of the nearby 405 Freeway, according to the Irvine Police.
The police officers finally opted to stop pursuing the suspects in order to prevent a collision. They returned to the victim’s apartment building and ended up finding the stolen vehicle running in the complex’s underground parking structure at 12:42 p.m. The vehicle was empty.
The police officers then deployed a drone to survey the area and to announced that the police were searching for the suspects in the area. It turned out the suspects were back at the victim’s apartment. They pistol-whipped the victim and he felt coerced to stay put. He was however finally allowed to leave when the suspects heard the drone’s announcement.
The Irvine Police SWAT team then responded to the scene. They were able to talk to the suspects over the phone, in the apartment. The police officers negotiated for several hours then opted to fire less-than-lethal rounds, which broke the windows at the apartment.
About fifteen neighboring apartment units were evacuated by the police during the SWAT negotiation with the suspects. The police also asked people to stay away from the area, and a portion of Quasar Drive near the scene was blocked off Wednesday evening.
The female suspect finally came out of the apartment at about 8:43 p.m. followed by the male suspect about 10 minutes later. Both were arrested and not harmed.
The suspects are facing charges in connection with outstanding warrants as well as their actions on Wednesday including vehicle theft, the police pursuit and their assault of the victim.
The police have not yet made the identities of the suspects available.