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Police in El Cajon have two suspects in custody after a cruiser equipped with an automated license plate reader alerted an officer that he was following a stolen vehicle.

On the evening of February 18, Officer Patrick Gomes was traveling on Wisconsin Avenue on the floor of the El Cajon valley when his plate reader went off and indicated a stolen car. Gomes was able to pull the vehicle over and obtain a second backup unit, but the driver fled upon being ordered from the car.

Other officers from the department and the San Diego Sheriff gave pursuit. K-9 units and a Sheriff helicopter were also called for assistance as the suspect entered the Interstate 8 freeway and proceeded into La Mesa before exiting and re-entering the freeway headed back toward El Cajon, eventually exiting State Route 125 at Navajo Road.

The suspect collided with another vehicle just east of the 125 at Navajo and Medford, and the car came to rest on the raised center divide, where both the driver and passenger attempted to flee on foot.

A Sheriff deputy released his dog and quickly captured the driver, 24 year-old Adriana Martinez. Other officers were able to chase down the passenger, 27 year-old Ernest Molina, who briefly fought with officers before submitting to arrest. No one was injured in this struggle, though Martinez was taken to a local hospital for treatment of wounds apparently inflicted via dog bite.

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