MALIBU (CBS) — Deputies are searching Malibu Canyon for a car theft suspect who drove his vehicle ver a cliff following a traffic stop.

The suspect was stopped by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies aroudn 1:45 p.m. Friday on Malibu Canyon Road, one mile north of Pacific Coast Highway.

When the man’s wife got out of the Chrysler Town and Country to talk to deputies, he then apparently drove the vehicle off the road and down a steep embankment, crashing in thick brush, officials said.

He then got out of the car and fled. Deputies believe the man is mentally unstable.

Malibu Canyon has been closed between Civic Center and Piuma roads.

(UPDATE: Friday 10 p.m.) Police identified the suspect as Michael Kheop, 44, of Malibu.

Kheop is described as black with a shaved head. He was wearing a blue shirt when last seen.

Deputies witnessed Kheop leave the vehicle after it came to a stop and run into thick brush and out of view. Officials don’t believe Kheop sustained any major injuries.

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