Pursuit, standoff in La Mesa ends in suspect arrest

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) - A suspected car thief who led deputies on a pursuit in the East County was taken into custody after a standoff at a La Mesa apartment complex.

According to sheriff's officials, at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies tried to pull over 37-year-old Randy Hanks at the intersection of Graves and Prospect avenues in Santee, but he refused to stop.

Hanks sped away, and deputies quickly backed off their pursuit "due to Hanks' reckless driving," officials said. Sheriff's ASTREA 3 helicopter spotted Hanks "as he drove recklessly through Santee, El Cajon, and La Mesa" at high speeds. Hanks also "passed vehicles on the wrong side of the road and ran red lights."

ASTREA saw Hanks enter a parking structure at 8665 La Mesa Boulevard but lost sight of him at that point.

A short time later, La Mesa police responded to a report of a man matching Hanks' description -- carrying what was believed to be a firearm -- running through an apartment complex in the 8600 block of Lemon Avenue.

Following a standoff that forced residents to remain indoors, officers eventually found Hanks hiding in a laundry room and arrested him. He was turned over to sheriff's deputies.

10News learned the weapon Hanks was carrying was a BB gun.

Officials confirmed the vehicle Hanks was driving was stolen, and 10News learned deputies discovered a samurai sword inside the car.

Hanks was booked into county jail for an outstanding felony warrant, auto theft and felony evading.

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