The driver of a stolen white van kept attempting to elude authorities by pulling into school parking lots in the Ventura area Wednesday before he jumped from the van and was tackled.
The chase began in Los Angeles County after the Los Angeles Police Department received a report of a stolen van. The driver refused to stop and led a high-speed chase that wound up on the 101 Freeway heading to Ventura County.
The California Highway Patrol was pursuing the possibly stolen white van by 2 p.m. as the driver zig-zagged onto the shoulder and HOV lane, passing the Camarillo Outlets.
After a short ride on the 126 Santa Paula Freeway, the driver began pulling into school parking lots along Telegraph Road.
The van traveled through the parking lot of Balboa Middle School before pulling into a high school parking lot and a college lot.
After pulling into the high school parking lot, and it appeared that officers had the driver cornered, he maneuvered over a median and continued driving.
The bizarre chase ended after the driver jumped from the van and began booking it down the sidewalk. Officers tackled him and took him into custody at Main Street and Mills Road in Ventura.
David Koerner reported his company's van was stolen at around 10:30 that morning while the driver was inside making a delivery at a Whole Foods Market. Koerner said there's normally a second key to lock the vehicle that for some reason didn't work that morning.
"I was in disbelief," he said. "I couldn't believe the van I was driving a couple hours earlier was now in a high-speed pursuit on TV."
The van was loaded with up to $40,000 in food products, including cold-pressed juices and organic produce.
"It was a crime of opportunity," Det. Marc Zavala said of the incident. Cargo theft is a big business and thieves could make a profit from the products inside the truck.
"I don't know what [the suspect] was thinking, taking my refrigerated van," Koerner said.
Ryan Boyd, 25, of Oxnard, was taken into custody and booked on charges including grand theft auto and evading police.
The chase came after a wild pursuit ended earlier in Long Beach. The driver in that pursuit rammed a CHP unit, spun-out and was then taken down by a K-9.