"Carjackers Lead Foothill Officers in Pursuit: Two Arrests Made"
Arleta – On Thursday, January 25, 2001, at 1:30 a.m., a citizen flagged down a North Hollywood Division sergeant and advised him his Ford Escort had just been stolen from him at knifepoint. The sergeant broadcast a description of the suspects and the vehicle.
Foothill Division officers observed the stolen vehicle at approximately 1:40 a.m. at the intersection of Terra Bella St and Arleta Av. They followed the vehicle, awaiting a helicopter and a backup unit prior to initiating a traffic stop. When the second patrol unit arrived, the driver of the stolen vehicle fled the scene. A pursuit ensued, and the stolen vehicle crashed into a tree in the 8100 block of Whitsett Av, in Sun Valley.
The passenger of the stolen vehicle was injured in the collision, and was immediately taken into custody without incident. The driver fled from the car and entered the garage of a nearby residence, where he found an Isuzu Trooper with the keys in the ignition. The driver started the vehicle and drove it through the closed garage door. The officers engaged in a second pursuit with the driver in this second stolen vehicle.
The pursuit terminated at approximately 2:00 a.m. at Saticoy St and Vineland Av, when the driver collided with two parked vehicles. The driver again fled on foot, and forcibly entered a residence by breaking a window in the 7500 block of Craner Avenue. Eight residents fled the location upon hearing the suspect’s entrance, except a 10-year-old child with Down’s Syndrome and his caretaker.
Responding officers devised a plan to remove the child and the caretaker, and brought them out to safety. When the officers were certain all of the residents had been evacuated, the officers reentered the location and discovered the suspect hiding in a closet. He was taken into custody without further incident.
The passenger from the first pursuit has been identified as Ignacio Ortega, 18, of North Hollywood. As a result of the first collision, Ortega suffered a broken hip and cracked ribs. He was booked at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Jail Ward for carjacking. The driver of both pursuits was identified as Miguel Rosales, 20, of North Hollywood. Rosales suffered cuts from the second collision and the forced entry into the residence. He was booked at Twin Towers on charges of carjacking, and will face additional charges.
Information regarding this incident was provided by Foothill Division AM Watch Commander Sgt. Wes Buhrmester. This Press Release was prepared by Officer Danielle Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.