Manhunt for car thief ends in woman's bedroom

Posted at 5:07 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 21:11:45-05

SAN DIEGO - A suspected car thief was taken into custody after he allegedly ran over a responding police officer's foot, ditched the vehicle, and broke into a La Jolla home to hide from officers.

According to San Diego police, just before 1 a.m., officers spotted a black Camaro that was reported stolen from the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla last week near Clairemont Mesa Blvd. However, when confronted by officers, the driver sped away -- running over an officer's foot in the process.

Hours later, at about 9:50 a.m., the car was spotted in the Pacific Beach area. Police tried to pull the driver over, but he fled, prompting a chase that was called off after a couple of minutes due to the potential danger to the public.

Police said the suspected thief eventually ditched the Camaro in the driveway of a home in the 1200 block of Skylark Drive in La Jolla.

Resident Jay Kovtun thinks the suspected thief ended up in his driveway because he accidentally left his gates open Friday morning.

Kovtun told 10News he walked out onto his driveway and "there was a gift out there … it was a car. It's bizarre. He drove up this driveway and parked a car and ran off."

Kovtun believes the suspected thief ditched the car because he had nowhere else to go.

"It's just impossible to figure. He must have been trapped; he came up here and it's all dead end," said Kovtun.

The man made his way to a nearby home and broke in.

Homeowner Toni Bloomberg told 10News her maid told her there was a strange man in the house that wanted a place to hide inside.

Soon after Bloomberg notified authorities, officers surrounded the home.

"He was hiding in my middle bedroom … the police handled it beautifully," said Bloomberg.

Police entered the home, where they confronted and arrested the man after he had been hiding in a bedroom closet.

Bloomberg told 10News that no one was hurt, but she still can't get over how the man got into her house.

"I never leave my gate open. I'm going to be ultra-careful [next time]," she said.

Kovtun said the morning activity was completely unexpected. He's thankful no one was hurt.

"We don't get this much excitement in 10 years," he told 10News.

The suspected thief is expected to be charged with breaking into the home, assaulting an officer and auto theft.