Lights, cameras, arrest

October 14, 2000

Paul Clinton

BURBANK -- After leading Burbank police officers on three-hour pursuit

in which he covered much of Southern California in a stolen Burbank

Public Works Department pickup truck, a suspect was taken into custody

Friday afternoon in San Diego.

Nearing the Mexican border, Erich Martirosiao, a Fresno resident whose

age was not immediately known, was arrested by California Highway Patrol


officers who bumped the truck using a technique called the "kick move,"

forcing him to spin into the center divider of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway.

Martirosiao was turned over to Burbank police and brought back to the

city to be booked on a trio of felonies -- grand theft auto, evading

arrest and reckless driving, police said.

The pursuit began shortly after 1 p.m., when Martirosiao allegedly

hopped into the white Chevy truck while it was parked on San Fernando

Boulevard near the Golden State Freeway onramp. A city crew had parked

the truck -- its engine running to power the lighted arrow sign bolted to

its bed -- to mark road work.

The man could be seen wearing a blue sleeveless shirt and smoking

cigarettes as several television networks interrupted programming to show

the chase live. Driving erratically at times, he worked his way through a

network of freeways, ultimately heading south toward Mexico.

The truck's arrow sign and a yellow light atop the cab continued to

flash during the chase.

Police attempted to contact the man on the truck's cell phone, but

were unsuccessful. The truck had a full tank of gasoline, between 21 and

25 gallons, when the pursuit began, Burbank Police Lt. Jose Duran said.

Police arrested the suspect at 4:15 p.m. near the Gilman Drive offramp

in San Diego. The truck was not heavily damaged, authorities said.

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