Easy Reader Staff

High-speed Hermosa Beach minivan pursuit ends in arrest, no injuries [UPDATE]

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The stolen silver Toyota mini van was stopped by a pole on the Strand. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

The stolen silver Toyota mini van was stopped by a pole on the Strand. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

An accurate description of a car burglar and a quick call to the Hermosa Beach Police Department resulted in the successful apprehension of a car thief after an hour-long car chase through both Redondo and Hermosa Beach.

Police have yet to identify where the van was stolen from. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Police have yet to identify where the van was stolen from. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

“The victim [of a car break-in] gave a good description of the man and that made the difference in catching him,” said Hermosa Beach Police Sgt. Bob Higgins.

The man, identified as Danny Chance from Pico Nuevo, was apprehended in Hermosa Beach after driving through both beach cities. The chase began  around 9:30 a.m. at speeds up to an estimated 90 mph.

“My guess is that he doesn’t know the area very well and he went right into the curb,” said Higgins.

The case was opened after a resident called the HBPD around 7:20 a.m. to report that a vehicle burglary had just occurred on the 700 block of 5th street. According to police, the victim provided a description of both the suspect and the suspect’s 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan, which was later identified as stolen from Montebello on April 1 . Officers responded to the call but were unable to locate the suspect.

Pedestrians assisted police in the pursuit by pointing in the direction of the speeding van. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Pedestrians assisted police in the pursuit by pointing in the direction of the speeding van. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

The pursuit began after HBPD motorcycle Officer Everette Faulk, working traffic enforcement, observed the suspect around 8th Street and Valley Drive. According to police, Faulk attempted a traffic stop but the suspect speed away.

“During the pursuit, speeds reached [above] 90 mph with the suspect not stopping for red lights, stop signs and driving on the wrong side of the road,” a police press release said.

The suspect ended up crashing at 35th Street and Hermosa Ave, halfway onto the bike lane on the Strand. The unscathed man jumped out of the van, ran, and after a three-block pursuit Hermosa and Manhattan Beach police had him in handcuffs.

“You don’t see a crook driving a minivan very often,” Higgins said, adding that the minivan had paper plates and was stolen from an unknown location.

According to police, property from other burglaries in the area was located in the suspect’s vehicle.

Pedestrians assisted police in the pursuit by pointing in the direction of the speeding van. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Pedestrians assisted police in the pursuit by pointing in the direction of the speeding van. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

While in pursuit, Higgins said police were able to keep track of the perpetrator because street-side pedestrians pointed out the direction the speeding van had driven.

“He must have put his foot to the floor and never took it off,” said Higgins. “As hair-raising as it was, he was caught and nobody was hurt.”

Chance is under investigation for a series of burglaries in the South Bay area and is being held on a $75,000 bail.

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