LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Three women were taken into custody at the end of a wild chase that involved two vehicles, an apparent food delivery and several cheering bystanders.
Police began chasing the white-panel van in the Alhambra-El Sereno area at about 10 a.m. because it was suspected to be stolen.READ MORE: Report: Court Rules Vanessa Bryant Can Obtain Names Of LASD Deputies Accused Of Sharing Crash Site Photos
The van was seen weaving in and out of freeway off-ramp traffic, running red lights, driving the wrong way, jumping right back on to the freeway, and exiting back onto city streets. Patrol vehicles were pulled back from chasing the van, and a police helicopter was tasked with tracking the van as it continued to drive erratically.
At one point the driver, who appeared to be a woman, stopped in front of an El Sereno home and got out. She looked back, casually took something out of the van and dropped it off, then jumped back in the van and drove off when a patrol vehicle pulled up. Police later said it was a tray of chicken.
The van nearly hit oncoming traffic several times. An hour into the chase, fans started popping up, waving down the driver in Alhambra and Lincoln Heights and receiving unidentified items from the van.READ MORE: Officials: 6 In Critical Condition After Stolen Vehicle Pursuit Ends In Multi-Vehicle Crash
After 11 a.m., the van’s driver stopped again and abandoned the vehicle, jumping into a white Mini Cooper. The chase ended soon after that, with the Mini Cooper’s driver and passengers — both women — first being taken into custody, before police arrested the van’s driver.
As people walked up to the vehicle, the suspect at times stopped to take pictures, chat, and give handshakes and high-fives.
25-year-old Raquel Alvarez was arrested and charged with grand theft auto, felony evading, and hit and run. The names of the two other two women were not released.
Alhambra Police Department officials said they will present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office on Monday.MORE NEWS: Authorities Find Silvia Ochoa De Hernandez, Woman Who Went Missing In South Gate
Police say the two women are believed to be friends or family of the van’s driver, who may have suffered from a mental episode.