Suspect in custody after police pursuit in west valley - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Suspect in custody after police pursuit in west valley

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Austin Straps Austin Straps
Austin Straps Austin Straps

It was a dramatic high speed pursuit and SkyFOX was overhead as the suspect lead police through the valley -- weaving in and out of traffic.

There were several close calls and at the end of it all, a foot pursuit that didn't end well for the suspect.

The pursuit lasted well over an hour, stretching from central Phoenix to north Peoria.

The car involved in this case was stolen from a home near Jomax and Interstate 17, but it all ended near 107th Avenue and Happy Valley Road -- with most the pursuit happening in Surprise and Sun City West.

The 19-year-old suspect, identified as Austin Straps, was brought to the 4th Avenue Jail.  He's accused of stealing the BMW vehicle right out of someone's garage.  Little did he know there was a tracking system in that car.

The pursuit ended when Straps hit a curb and ran over some stop sticks.  Moments later, a front tire broke apart.  Straps then ditched the car and started running through a brand new neighborhood near Happy Valley and Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Police officers caught him as he tried to run into a home.

"I just saw somebody flee from the car and I kind of stepped back because I didn't know if he was armed," said Kathy Hardt.

When it was over, police scoured the stolen BMW.

"Suddenly, this green car comes flying around the corner and his front tire almost rips off and then he wrecks over there and runs," said Jim Frost.

The pursuit began in the far north valley.  Police got a call around 8:30 a.m. from a woman who heard noises coming from her garage.  When she went to check it out, she found someone in her car.

In less than an hour, Phoenix Police alerted other agencies and thanks to a GPS tracking system in the BMW, the Department of Public Safety was able to quickly find the stolen car.

"We were being patient today because we had the helicopter in the air," said DPS Sgt. Paul Forch.  "Our goal was to let the driver just bail out or come to stop somewhere and then we could have unmarked units take him into custody."

Straps is going to be booked on a number of charges, including aggravated assault.  DPS says the suspect drove towards some officers who were trying to stop him.

Authorities say Straps was in prison for burglary and was just released this past June.

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