Cops find children inside stolen car after pursuit


July 26, 2012 4:41:40 PM PDT
A stolen SUV with two small children inside crashed into a car then into a house before police arrested the driver in East Oakland Thursday. It all happened on 55th Avenue near East 16th Street, just east of I-880 in the Wentworth-Holland area.

The disturbing series of events forced police to lock down the neighborhood and search for the man they say is responsible for sending two innocent bystanders to the hospital and placing a woman and two infants in harm's way.

Just before noon, police say they spotted a white Lexus at 38th and Lyon Avenues. The car had been reported stolen and when they tried to stop it, they say the driver sped away. Less than a mile away, the driver crashed in the 1600 block of 55th Avenue, but not before forcing the driver of a black Camaro off the road, over a sign post, and crashing into a home. The driver of the stolen car jumped out of the vehicle and took off into the neighborhood on foot, setting off a large manhunt, with the San Leandro police getting help from the highway patrol, sheriff's deputies, and even Argus, the Oakland police helicopter.

As officers approached the crashed stolen vehicle, they made a shocking discovery. The driver, who ran away, had left his girlfriend and two small children in the car to fend for themselves. "It was a woman and she did not flee. She stayed with the children," Lt. Fred Mestas told ABC7 News. The first responders immediately began a physical check to make sure the children in the car were not harmed.

A frightened woman later identified by police as the suspect's girlfriend and an unidentified Oakland police officer could be seen trying to comfort the children. At one point, one small child seemed to reach out to the officer for comfort. The officer quickly responded taking the toddler in her arms and soothing the frightened child. A short time later, the man they had been looking for was captured and quickly taken into custody.

The two children and two men who were inside the black Camaro that crashed into the house are all OK.

Police say the driver of the stolen car was not been cooperative with police.

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