ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - A police chase suspect went on a dangerous 2-county crime spree, including breaking into multiple vehicles, backing into a cop car and breaking into someone's house – all to avoid getting in handcuffs.
The suspect, 32-year-old Johnny Anchondo, who was initially wanted by police in Fullerton led officers on a chase before being cornered into an apartment complex parking lot in the northern part of Anaheim. Despite being cornered in the parking lot, Anchondo refused to surrender as he backed into one of the cop cars and then drove off in a white van.
The dangerous pursuit later became a 2-county chase as the suspect drove through parts of Fullerton, Anaheim and Santa Ana before ditching the white van in Whittier. Viewers commenting on FOX 11's live streams as the crime spree unraveled compared the police chase to a popular video game series Grand Theft Auto.
After leading police on a brief foot chase, Anchondo went inside a nearby home, was confronted by the people inside, including two dogs, and got inside a white pickup truck that was parked in the drive to once again drive off in a possibly stolen vehicle. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department went on to take over the later parts of the lengthy chase.
FOX 11's Gina Silva spoke with the carjacking victim. He said he had purchased the pickup truck three weeks before the incident, saying he got the vehicle to aid his family's landscaping business.
"It was just hard work," said Andres Benitez, the man whose truck got stolen. "This was my goal since two years ago."
According to Benitez, the suspect broke into the house trying to evade police. With his mother home, Benitez brandished a knife to escort the suspect out of the home. As the suspect was led out of the house, the suspect snatched Benitez's car key and ran off with the key and the vehicle.
The dogs who were involved in the tense struggle are OK, Benitez told FOX 11. While devastated after getting his pickup truck stolen, he playfully told FOX's Gina Silva he was "disappointed" that the family's pit bull didn't try to stop the suspect.
Anchondo was eventually cornered by law enforcement at a gas station in San Gabriel Valley. After a brief and tense standoff, he was eventually placed in custody around 6 p.m. Anchondo was being held on a parole violation.
Prior to backing into cop cars, trying to break into parked vehicles, driving the wrong way of traffic and swapping multiple vehicles along the way, it is unknown what the suspect was initially wanted for.