Theft Suspect Leads Police on Chase from Hemet to Menifee

The Hemet Police patrol car recovered from a thief is loaded onto a tow vehicle on Bradley Road....

The Hemet Police patrol car recovered from a thief is loaded onto a tow vehicle on Bradley Road.
Photos and field reporting by Kristen Spoon

A man who stole a police car in Hemet this morning and led police units on a chase west into Menifee was taken into custody after crashing the squad car into a curb on Bradley Road and fleeing on foot.

David Hayes, 28, of Hemet was arrested on charges including theft of an emergency vehicle, burglary, resisting arrest and a parole violation. He was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon, according to a Hemet Police Department news release.

No civilians were injured during the incident and there are no outstanding suspects or equipment, police said.

Menifee residents first became aware of the incident about 11 a.m. when squad cars from the Hemet and Menifee Police Departments and the CHP converged on an area of Bradley Road between McCall Boulevard and Cherry Hills Boulevard. A helicopter hovered overhead. A Hemet patrol car, showing some damage to the front end, was being loaded onto a tow truck from the street outside the BVAA Compass Bank.

Streets were blocked off in the area for a short time but were soon cleared to traffic. Hemet police gave this account:

At about 10:13 a.m., Hemet police received a call about a theft that had just occurred at a store in the 1100 block of S. Sanderson Avenue. The victim provided a description of the suspect to police. The first responding officer located the suspect in the 2300 block of W. Stetson Avenue and attempted to detain him.

According to police, the suspect fled east on Stetson Avenue. A second officer arrived and joined a foot pursuit, in which the suspect jumped over fences into a residential neighborhood. The officers lost sight of the suspect. Dispatch then received a call from a resident who saw the suspect get into one of the offiers' patrol cars and drive away.

Using information from the GPS in the stolen vehicle, the suspect was tracked south on State Street and west on Domenigoni Parkway, then west on Newport Road into Menifee. A police helicopter tracked the vehicle while Hemet Police units took chase.

The suspect vehicle entered the 215 Freeway, headed north to McCall, then exited the freeway. The suspect lost control of the vehicle on Bradley Road and struck a curb, disabling the vehicle. The suspect fled on foot and was apprehended a short distance away by CHP and Hemet Police officers after what police described as a brief physical confrontation.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department air unit assisted in the pursuit.


Officers discuss the end of today's car chase as police cruisers remain on scene.




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Hemet Police Department 5209950216470272762

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