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Six percent of pursuit suspects escape California police

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A man who led police in California on a chase from Claremont to Pacoima Monday afternoon was still at large more than 24 hours later, a situation that police say represents a sliver of chases that end with the suspect’s successful escape.

More often than not, police say, officers eventually take down a pursuit suspect. About 6 percent of pursuit suspects escape the blaring squad cars, police and media helicopters and, sometimes, K-9 units, according to data that includes all California law enforcement agencies, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

In 2010, there were 5,183 pursuits and of those, 341 suspects fled on foot and were not arrested.

Out of the 5,508 pursuits in 2011, 348 suspects escaped on foot. According to LAPD, that escape rate is “pretty good.”

Some notable pursuit suspects have tried to hide in plain sight.

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In 2004, a man led police on a chase from Simi Valley to the Beverly Center in Hollywood where he disappeared among the shoppers before finally being caught.

The next year, a pursuit suspect ditched his motorcycle at the Glendale Galleria and blended in with the crowd.

Monday’s pursuit suspect appeared to blend into the brush. The chase began at about 4:45 p.m. in the Arcadia area when the driver of a dark-colored truck failed to stop for officers as part of a narcotics investigation.

Disappeared in trees
The driver barreled down freeways at times reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph before transitioning onto surface streets where he circled neighborhoods in Arleta and Pacoima for nearly an hour.

After driving into a dead-end alley in Pacoima, the driver jumped out of the vehicle, scaled several fences and seemed to disappear among the trees in residents’ backyards.

By Tuesday afternoon, the man had managed to evade officers for more than 24 hours. Still, investigators say evidence left behind in the vehicle and two arrested passengers make them confident they’ll catch the driver eventually.

A man and a woman jumped out of the moving truck during the pursuit and were subsequently arrested. The woman hopped out while the truck was travelling under a canopy of trees.

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