Police arrested two men after one allegedly pointed a gun at a Vons employee Thursday afternoon and led officers on a high-speed chase through Santa Monica and Venice.
Officers were already at the Vons in the 1300 block of Wilshire Boulevard responding to a 911 call at 2:15 p.m. about a woman who had been detained by a security guard on suspicion of theft, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis. Two men then pulled up and pointed a handgun at an employee, according to the sergeant.
"Then something happened that caused [the men] to flee; it may have been because there were already officers on scene," Lewis said. "We're still trying to determine if it was connected to the theft. We think it was."
During the pursuit, a parked car was side-swiped.
The chase zoomed through Santa Monica resident Crystal Shepeard's neighborhood. She said she saw "more than a dozen (lost count at 12) [patrol cars] speeding north on Stewart towards Olympic, plus a helicopter following."
Officers arrested one man around 4 p.m. when he drove a black Honda to a dead-end at 25th Street, just north of the Santa Monica Airport, said Lewis.
"He exited the vehicle, took a drag on a cigarette and sat down on a curb," NBC Los Angeles reported.
The second suspect was arrested at the Venice breakwater near Windward Avenue. The man was in the water for about 45 minutes before taken into custody.