UPDATE: CHP reports further on pursuit of stolen vehicle on Interstate 15; five arrested in incident

UPDATE: More information on this incident has been released by the California Highway Patrol.

“On April 27, at approximately 11:45 p.m., Oceanside Area CHP units were notified that San Diego Area CHP units were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle traveling north on Interstate 15 from Mira Mesa Blvd.

San Diego CHP had attempted to stop the vehicle for a speeding violation. The Oceanside Area CHP units entered the pursuit northbound I-15 at Deer Springs Rd.”

“The suspect vehicle, a stolen 2009 Toyota Highlander, was traveling in excess of 100 mph. The vehicle exited at Rainbow Valley Blvd, turned around and entered southbound I-15 where it continued to evade traveling in excess of 100 mph.”

“The vehicle was successfully spiked near the Lilac Rd overpass. The vehicle slowed to a stop just north of Gopher Canyon Road where a felony stop was initiated. The driver of the suspect vehicle was uncooperative and refused commands to toss out the keys or exit the vehicle. A less lethal shotgun bean bag round was used to break out the tinted rear window of the vehicle. At that time, the driver became cooperative. The driver and all four passengers were taken into custody.

The driver, later identified as Stephanie Well, 20, of San Diego became uncooperative and began kicking the right rear window of the CHP patrol vehicle, shattering it. Additionally, Wells began spitting on officers.

All five subjects were transported to Vista Detention Facility. Wells was booked for felony evading, felony vehicle theft, felony vandalism, and grand theft.”

“Several vehicles reported receiving flat tires due to the spike strip remaining partially in the roadway.”


(previous story)

DEER SPRINGS – Five people were arrested at the end of a high-speed pursuit over a stolen SUV in North County last night. During the incident, Interstate 15 was heavy with law enforcement activity.

The pursuit began on northbound Interstate 15 at Carroll Canyon Road about 11:45 p.m. Sunday, April 27, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers chased a stolen Toyota Highlander and its occupants from the Mira Mesa area to Rainbow, where the pursuit turned southbound on I-15 and eventually ended in the Deer Springs area after the SUV was driven over a deployed spike strip, the CHP reported.

The agency said the driver of the Highlander and four occupants were arrested.

No injuries were reported.

7 Responses to "UPDATE: CHP reports further on pursuit of stolen vehicle on Interstate 15; five arrested in incident"

  1. Lee   April 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you, Law Enforcement!

    I do, however, have a question for Law Enforcement. I understand ALL the ramifications of a high speed pursuit and the reasons for its use. I get it! But, aren’t there and should Law Enforcement not pursue other means of apprehension considering that other folks, as was clearly the case in this incident, are put at risk during a high-speed pursuit of 100MPH? Again, I get ALL the reasons why a pursuit is conducted. I get it. But do the benefits of the pursuit outweigh the safety of the public? Or, perhaps the question should be rephrased, should the public’s safety be jeopardized and even discounted during a high-speed pursuit?

    In other words, why take the risk of a high-speed pursuit when the pursued has ZERO chance of escaping? (And we all know that the pursued has ZERO chance of escaping! Let’s not kidd ourselves. This story proves it yet again.)

    The police vehicle(s) pursuing the vehicle know the license plate, car make, and general direction of the car, etc., so why not have other police vehicles wait ahead, get even a helicopter involved (if possible), and wait and see where the chucklehead(s) go, and THEN apprehend them, thereby avoiding putting other folks at risk? Again, I get all the arguments for the chase . . . but a high speed pursuit sure seems a bit risky to me considering all the technology that Law Enforcement has at its disposal to apprehend the chucklehead(s).

    PS. BTW, why are you so dumb to think that you can flee the police?! Why?! Even if you had a Lamborghini, you ain’t got a prayer in heck! You are outnumbered. Hello! You give Law Enforcement plenty of stories to chuckle over on their days off while enjoyin’ a cold one. I’m laughing, too.

  2. Annoyed   April 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Lee, your comments again are way off base. You know the license plate? Of course they do but did you miss the part where it was a stolen vehicle? So Do you think the suspects are going back to the address they stole it from? Also it was in the middle of the night and the CHP are extensively trained in pursuit driving and are required to update traffic conditions and if at anytime it puts other motorists in danger, they are advised by a sgt to cease the pursuit. And for your information, there was a helicopter overhead, usually almost ALWAYS is!!! These 5 \"women\" put everyone else\’s life in jeopardy by starting the pursuit for not pulling over….they chose to steal someone\’s vehicle. Thank you CHP for making our roads a safer place!!!

  3. Lifetime Resident   April 28, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I agree with questioning pursuit policy. I know for a fact that somebody with an intimate knowledge of this area can and have successfully evaded multi-agency high speed pursuit. The saying was "you can’t outrun the Motorola" but you can out smart the CHP, SD Sherriff and ‘Border Patrol’ even when working together. There are so many side roads and not so dead end streets that if somebody in the know could evade with success – provided they plan in advance (disguise plates for one).
    Smugglers and thrill seekers are famous for this. However, putting the public in the line of fire is just wrong. I understand more than a few innocent motorists fell victim in this particular chase to segments of the deployed spike strip damaging their tires as the CHP used to disable the vehicle in question. Bringing a claim against L.E. agencies responsible for laying the spikes is more than a simple form and check being issued. Most likely they will have to eat the cost of their innocent victimization by the law enforcement agencies that acted against the speeder but hurt others.
    I have had property damage over the years due to L.E. actions and by in large, I’m left holding the bag, "go after the vehicle owner" that is already suffering from their loss, usually total loss of their stolen vehicle. In one case, a chased subject in a stolen white Honda Civic dead ended in our cul de sac and he got out to flee on foot, leaping and breaking my board fence and escaping successfully because of his knowledge of the local terrain. The pursuing deputy that finished off the damaged fence and "in hot pursuit" tore across my back yard and felt justified in accusing me of helping the fleeing scumbag. I explained where the guy probably headed and it is not something a vehicle could traverse. Blame the victim, more than once over the years.
    If L.E. agencies feel hot pursuit is necessary, the acting agencies need to consider the collateral damage and weigh that against the crime the fleeing vehicle driver is being pursued for and THEN pay up for the damage caused by their actions. It’s ultimately coming out of our law abiding citizens pockets anyway. I can’t recall a case where a L.E. agent was held personally responsible for their own reckless behavior in instituting a pursuit for less than felonious, eminent life or death crime that ended bad for innocent collateral damaged victims.

  4. how did they....?   April 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Just an observation, base on the suicide story. Why didn’t they close the two I-15 lanes when they knew this car was coming? I know this has to happen quick, but it could’ve prevented them from reaching as far north as Rainbow or as far south as Gopher Canyon (reducing the distance traveled and risk of that span). Just a thought. Might not have been units there quick enough to block the exit or freeway in time. Who knows, since these crazies were already hopped up on adrenaline, maybe they would’ve rammed somebody or something. Good job CHP for catching them!

  5. Annoyed   April 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Dear lifetime resident: less than felonious crimes??? They were charged with multiple felonies!!! Did you not see the news clip of the driver breaking out the officers windows?? Instead of judging these officers, how about thanking them?? They got some real "winners" off the road last night.

    The pursuit started northbound and exited at rainbow, the suicide was in the southbound lanes and was already cleared when this pursuit started. And it’s not as easy as closing the lanes to stop a pursuit.

  6. Queen   April 29, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Lifetime Resident, it is sad that there are times when innocent people are affected by the deeds of the idiots, and it is unfortunate that they are, oft times, left holding the bag. But, to blame the Officers, etc involved in this chase is wrong. They are doing their job, one that I am sure I would not want to do this day and age. But, with regards to being left holding the bag (the innocents) that is not due to Officers doing their job, that has to do with the law….and many times how it is abused. I for one agree with annoyed and thank these people for their services.

  7. Me   April 30, 2014 at 11:46 am

    The decision to pursue a fleeing suspect… or not…. is always a difficult decision. Having been involved in dozens of them years ago I know that numerous circumstances determine whether or not you should take the risk.

    There are always those who say that "all pursuits should be stopped." Well that’s just plain nuts. If suspects know that they could just run and police would let them go without chasing them……we’d see criminals flying down every highway 24/7.

    From the sounds of this one…it was late…it was on a limited access highway… they were known felons (stolen car)……and they were able to have units set up spike strips as well…. (Unfortunately they weren’t removed fast enough)……all decisions that were determined by the CHP that it was REASONABLY safe to pursue.


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