Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Burglar-slash-car thief caught in Ramona
During pursuit, suspect throws items including flaming towel from car, douses self in gasoline
San Diego Sheriff’s deputies responding to a call regarding a suspicious person on the 17000 block of Ridgeview Lane in Ramona yesterday afternoon observed a series of rather unique behaviors from 32 year-old Chula Vista resident Oscar Torres, who was eventually taken into custody.
Torres reportedly covered his arms and face in black paint before breaking into several homes in the area, eventually stealing a Ford F-150 pickup from a driveway in front of one of the residences. Arriving too late to apprehend him before he fled, authorities began a search of the area for the truck and soon located it traveling east on Main Street headed toward Highway 78.
Deputies began to follow the vehicle as helicopter and canine reinforcements were called in. Once Torres began to suspect he was being followed, however, he began tossing items from the window of the truck. He then doused himself in gasoline, lit a towel on fire (without igniting himself, and threw it out onto the roadway.
A spike strip was eventually deployed, causing Torres to pull over alongside Highway 78, though he refused to exit the vehicle. Once deputies were able to extract him from the vehicle he was taken to Pomerado Hospital for an evaluation before being booked into San Diego Central Jail on burglary and vehicle theft charges.
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