Suspected Pacific Beach purse thief escapes amid mayhem

SAN DIEGO - A bizarre chain of events resulted in a crash and the escape of a suspected purse thief early Tuesday morning in Pacific Beach.

According to San Diego police, the incident began when a group of four women visiting from Ireland had gone out in Pacific Beach with a man they had recently met from Mexico. During the course of the night, the Mexican man introduced them to a transient who lives out of an SUV.

Sometime before 2:30 a.m., the transient swiped one of the women’s purses and fled, police said.

The Mexican man, who was not identified, allegedly knew that the transient kept his SUV at a Vons parking lot in the 1700 block of Garnet Avenue. The group took a taxi to the parking lot, where they waited for the transient to arrive.

Police say the transient arrived in another taxi and the group confronted him. When the suspect tried to flee in his SUV, the Mexican man jumped onto the side of the vehicle and hung on, causing it to crash into a semi-truck and pole.

The transient jumped out of the SUV and ran away. Police responded and conducted a search of the neighborhood, but could not locate him.

There were no serious injuries. The Mexican man sustained a slight laceration to his leg.

Police told 10News the transient was known to them. He will face petty theft charges when found. They are investigating.

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