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Pursuit that began in San Diego County ends in arrests in Murrieta

Posted at 6:44 AM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 16:53:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Three suspected armed robbers were arrested after a high-speed chase that began in San Diego's East County and ended in Riverside County.

At around midnight Monday, San Diego County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Lakeside in response to a reported armed robbery of a convenience store.

Deputies arrived at the scene and spotted three men get into a BMW, but when they tried to stop it, the vehicle sped away.

Sheriff’s deputies initially pursued the BMW, but the California Highway Patrol officers took over the pursuit. The suspect vehicle traveled west on Interstate 8 and then transitioned to northbound Interstate 15, reaching speeds of up to 130 MPH during the chase.

The suspect vehicle headed north into Riverside County, and CHP officials said, “The BMW exited and reentered the freeway twice, at one point ramming a CHP patrol vehicle on Winchester Road, in the City of Temecula.”

CHP officials confirmed someone from the BMW “fired multiple rounds from a pistol” at officers as the chase reached Interstate 215 and then Los Alamos Road in Murrieta. Gunfire hit one CHP vehicle, but no officers were struck or injured.

The BMW car stopped at a Shell gas station on Los Alamos Road due to possible mechanical problems, a witness said.

In the gas station’s parking lot, the CHP said the three suspected robbers abandoned the BMW and tried to carjack another car but were unsuccessful. The would-be carjacking victims were not hurt.

As the trio tried to run away, San Diego County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene and released a K-9. The dog “contacted one of the suspects, who suffered bite wounds. The suspect shot the canine, before continuing to run,” the CHP said.

Two of the suspected robbers were captured by CHP officers, while the search continued for the third man.

After about an hour, a Murrieta Police dog spotted the third suspected robber. The man suffered bite wounds and was arrested.

The sheriff’s dog shot during the incident was taken to a veterinary hospital for emergency treatment. CHP officials said the injured dog is expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities said law enforcement officers did not return fire during the pursuit and in the confrontation at the Murrieta gas station.

According to CHP officials, the three arrestees face multiple felony charges, including: armed robbery, attempted murder of peace officers, attempted carjacking, and reckless evasion. The three men were booked into a Riverside County jail.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the Lakeside robbery, while the CHP is handling the investigation into “all crimes committed during the pursuit.”

Murrieta Police are investigating the attempted carjacking and shooting of the K-9 at the gas station.

The Menifee Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and Hemet Police Department were also involved in the search effort at the gas station, CHP officials noted.