Auto thief gets away after crashing, pointing gun at person in Atascadero

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A thief stole a vehicle from an Atascadero home on Tuesday and crashed twice while fleeing but managed to get away from police and witnesses who were pursuing him by pulling a gun and then hopping inside a getaway car.

Shorty before 2 p.m., the thief tried to steal a vehicle from the driveway of a home. A resident of the home confronted the suspect, but the thief stole the vehicle anyway, according to the Atascadero Police Department.

The suspect fled down the driveway in the stolen vehicle and then crashed into another vehicle in the 8400 block of Del Rio Road. The other driver involved in the collision suffered undisclosed injuries.

After the collision, the suspect continued to flee in the stolen vehicle but soon after crashed into a tree. The collision with the tree disabled the vehicle, police said.

The resident from whom the suspect stole the vehicle, along with other witnesses, managed to track down the thief. When confronted again, the suspect pointed a handgun at a witness. 

After pointing the gun at the witness, the suspect entered a vehicle that had been waiting for him in the area. Officers searched the area for the suspect but failed to locate him. 

During the search for the suspect, officers found a vehicle parked at an abandoned home. Officers contacted the occupants of the vehicle and searched the car. 

Police found a loaded handgun, loaded shotgun and narcotics inside the vehicle. Yet, the police department press release describes the vehicle as unrelated to the initial incident.

The investigation is ongoing.

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