IRVINE (CBSLA) — Police are on the hunt Friday evening for the driver who led them on a stolen car chase from Long Beach to Irvine.

The wild chase ended on the campus of UC Irvine. As it turns out, the suspect thief had a real need for the vehicle.

KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reported from the campus.

She said the chase started with a first date.

The thief ended up on Frat Row on the campus. Officers from four agencies swarmed the area looking for the man, but he got away.

Students got a text message warning them that the suspect dumped the vehicle and took off running.

“When I saw all the lights from the police cars, that’s what really got my attention,” said Freddie Menendez.

“It’s kind of scary, just a little bit. That’s why we were looking at the bus maybe instead of walking,” said Amanda Zarasua.

The CHP says the thief is not likely to get far. Police know who he is as he left his ID in the car.

It also turns out the 22-year-old suspect didn’t just bail on police, he also stood up a UCI student he had just met online.

“The party was coming down here in a stolen vehicle to pick up a female student on a first date,” says Sgt. Scott Stoos.

Her reaction to a dramatic ending to her Friday night? Complete shock and she is fully cooperating with authorities.


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