Authorities search for suspected burglars following brief pursuit

3 nearby schools locked down due to investigation

SAN DIEGO - A search for a group of suspected burglars who led a brief chase in the Poway area prompted lockdowns at four nearby schools Thursday.

According to authorities, shortly after 11:30 a.m., a resident living on Shady Oak Court ran from her home to a neighbor's house after she heard knocking on her back window.

Witnesses told authorities they saw two men walking with a TV enter a dark-colored vehicle before it drove off.

A San Diego sheriff's deputy spotted the car and pursued it westbound on Scripps Poway Parkway. A short time later, the vehicle crashed into a cement wall at the intersection of Scripps Poway Parkway and Cypress Canyon Road -- an area considered part of the city of San Diego.

Authorities said at least two men fled the scene following the crash. Due to the search, nearby Dingman Elementary School, Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School and Innovations Academy Charter School were locked down at about 12:20 p.m.

The lockdowns were lifted at about 1 p.m. after authorities were able to detain the two men a short distance away.

After obtaining new information, authorities began a search in the Poway area for three other men linked to the burglary.

10News learned one man was caught hiding behind a boulder on Poway Creek. The other two suspected burglars were captured at a strip mall, and witnesses said the men were drinking coffee and eating when confronted by authorities.

NewBridge School on Oak Knoll Road was briefly locked down due to the investigation.

Authorities have not identified the five men taken into custody, but said they are between 18 and 22 years old.

Sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers, San Diego police officers and San Diego Unified School District officers -- along with ASTREA and ABLE helicopters -- participated in the investigation.

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