An ex-con accused of stealing a Hemet police car and leading officers on a 12-mile chase to another city, where he crashed the cruiser, was charged today with auto theft and other felonies.
David Gary Hayes, 28, was arrested Tuesday morning after a pursuit that began in Hemet and ended in Menifee.
Along with the theft count, Hayes is charged with burglary and resisting arrest. He’s being held in lieu of $105,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and is slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon.
Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a store in the 1100 block of Sanderson Avenue to investigate a theft. The suspect had dropped his ID card while fleeing the location, and officers were provided a full description of the man before they arrived, according to Hemet police.
A patrolman spotted the suspect in the 2300 block of Stetson Avenue and attempted to arrest him, but the defendant ran away, police said.
Another patrolman rolled up from the opposite direction, and both officers gave chase, leaving their vehicles unattended.
“The officers lost sight of the suspect and began to coordinate a perimeter with incoming police units,” according to a police department statement. “As additional units were responding, dispatch received a call from a citizen who saw the suspect get into one of the officers’ vehicles and drive away east on Stetson.”
The stolen cruiser’s GPS tracking device was activated, and surrounding law enforcement agencies were immediately alerted.
Hayes went south on State Street, then west on Domenigoni Parkway, eventually turning north onto Interstate 215, according to police.
A Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew followed the stolen police car once it reached the freeway, where California Highway Patrol officers initiated a pursuit.
According to CHP Officer Nathan Baer, Hayes exited at McCall Boulevard in Menifee and turned west. He apparently lost control near the intersection of McCall and Bradley Road, running the patrol car into an object, causing the
cruiser to stall.
Hayes fled on foot but was located by CHP officers a short distance away and arrested without further incident, authorities said.
According to court records, Hayes has a 2003 conviction for robbery and a 2006 conviction for illegally modifying a firearm.