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Authorities took a pursuit suspect into custody early Thursday morning after searching for hours for a pickup that was stolen in Santee with law enforcement property — including SWAT gear and guns — inside of it, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.

The pursuit ended a little after midnight near the Otay Ranch Town Center shopping mall in Chula Vista, according to San Diego sheriff’s Lt. Scott Roller and emergency radio communications. The truck had been stolen — or possibly carjacked — about three hours earlier in Santee.

Details of the incident were still unfolding overnight, but the stolen truck and law enforcement gear was believed to be the property of the El Cajon Police Department or an officer from that agency, Roller said.

El Cajon police did not immediately respond to a message seeking more information Wednesday night.

The pickup was reported stolen just before 9 p.m. from near a 7-Eleven at the intersection of Mission Gorge Road, Magnolia Avenue and Woodside Avenue in Santee, Roller said.

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Among the items believed to be inside the pickup, described as a silver Ford F-150, were a bulletproof vest and “possible firearms,” Roller said. Radio messages that went out to law enforcement agencies across the region indicated there was a rifle and at least one handgun locked in a box inside the truck.

A California Highway Patrol officer reported seeing a similar vehicle Wednesday night near the border, but it was unclear if it was the same pickup, according to Roller.

Around 11:50 p.m., law enforcement officers in East County began pursuing a pickup that was believed to be the stolen truck, according to emergency radio traffic. The pickup’s driver led officers west on Interstate 8 and south on state Route 125 at speeds between 90 and 100 mph.

The driver continued south on the SR-125 toll road into Chula Vista before eventually exiting at Birch Road, driving through Otay Ranch Town Center and crashing into a fire hydrant in a nearby dirt lot, according to radio communications. He ran from the truck, but law enforcement personnel quickly took him into custody just after midnight.

Roller confirmed that the pursuit suspect was detained and that the fleeing pickup appeared to match the description of the stolen law enforcement vehicle, though he said the incident remained under investigation.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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