Police chase suspect through Metro Honda

On Thursday, December 22, Pomona police called Claremont police at 1:31 a.m. about a catalytic converter theft that had occurred near the city limits, asking CPD to be on the lookout for the suspect’s vehicle, an older model light colored minivan. Claremont officers patrolling the south part of town saw a grey 2001 Dodge Caravan heading west on American Avenue and attempted a traffic stop. The van’s driver, later identified as Erick Diego, 28, of Los Angeles, refused to stop and fled at high rate of speed eastbound on the 10 Freeway. A pursuit was initiated with two Claremont patrol vehicles. The van left the freeway at Vineyard Avenue in Ontario where police say Diego ran a red light before getting back on the freeway. Diego exited the 10 again at Archibald, running another red light, driving on the wrong side of the roadway before returning to the freeway, this time heading west.

At Central Avenue in Montclair the lead patrol car was able to get close enough to the van that an officer was able to see the faces of the two occupants. Diego pulled into the Costco parking lot at 9404 Central, where police say he and his passenger Carlos Yahir Ramirez, 18, of L.A. bailed out and began to run. Diego was immediately taken into custody but Ramirez fled into the Metro Honda auto complex. Officers from the California Highway Patrol and the Montclair Police Department as well as an L.A. County Sheriff ‘s helicopter assisted in the search for Ramirez, who was caught running through the dealership.

A search of the van allegedly turned up four catalytic converters, along with a floor jack and a handheld cutting device. A records check showed Diego had two felony warrants, $75,000 for grand theft and vandalism in Burbank and $30,000 for auto theft in Los Angeles. Both men were arrested for felony possession of stolen property, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor possession of burglary tools. Diego was also arrested for his warrants and felony pursuit. They were transported to CPD jail and booked and Diego was held for court. Ramirez was released with a citation by the order of a L.A. Superior Court judge. Both men were due in court on Dec 27 where Diego pled no contest and was given two years probation. Ramirez failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Be sure to check out the entire Courier police blotter in Friday’s edition.

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