San Diego deputies arrest the driver

SAN DIEGO – Deputies say a man ironed an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme from a home in San Diego as he tried to escape authorities Thursday, leading them on a high-speed chase in the stolen car.

Officers with a private security firm in Rancho Santa Fe called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department around noon. 7:30 a.m. about an apparent crash on Puerta Del Sol, a street with trees in the neighborhood dotted with private driveways.

Firefighters first arrived and found a man whom officials later identified as 48-year-old Jason Collins, sitting asleep or unconscious in a parked car with a woman. The first emergency personnel saw a gun in the car, according to the sheriff’s department, and the man asked them to “come back” when they woke him up to see if he was okay.

The firefighters returned and made room for the sheriff’s deputies, who surrounded the vehicle and waited for a law enforcement helicopter and K-9 unit to arrive. At one point in the middle of the riot, authorities say the man slipped out of his car.

“Several residents began calling the Sheriff’s Communications Center, stating that a man who matched Collins’ description had been seen on their property,” the sheriff’s department wrote in a press release.

The next time they saw Collins, he hurried down the driveway to a home on nearby Via Del Alba, behind the wheel of the 1987 old school Cutlass, the department said. A 911 caller confirmed that the man had just taken the vehicle to their house.

Deputies tried to stop the man, but he was able to escape from the area. Authorities chased after him until they could get a barbed wire strip on the road, flattening the tire of the stolen car on El Camino Real near Del Mar Heights Road, further south in the city of San Diego. “Collins was remanded in custody without further incident,” officials said.

Deputies never found the gun discovered by firefighters, which Collins told officials had been a toy. Authorities also learned that Collins’ female companion had been his girlfriend. She was unharmed and not suspected of a crime, according to the sheriff’s department.

Collins was jailed in Vista on suspicion of burglary and charges in connection with the hunt.

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