A pair of suspected burglars took police along on a long, leisurely chase Thursday –and were almost stopped by the TMZ bus.
The men drove a rented car through several Los Angeles neighborhoods at high speed before eventually being apprehended peacefully nearly two hours later.
The chase began with a report of a burglary in the city of Cerritos at 1:24 p.m., according to a breakdown of the incident from the Los Angeles Times.
The two men, in a blue Mustang convertible (with the top down, despite the rainy weather), quickly high-tailed it westbound on the 91 Freeway, where their location was picked up by a sheriff’s helicopter. In downtown Los Angeles, the Mustang turned onto Sunset Boulevard, where the driver began doing donuts in the middle of the road, forcing other cars on the road to stop.
After that, it was on to Hollywood Boulevard, where the Mustang drove against traffic past the TCL Chinese Theatre and throngs of tourists, who cheered the vehicle as it passed. The driver then piloted the Mustang into the Hollywood Hills, where rainfall caused it to slip and slide on the curvy, two-lane roads.
Once back on the 101 freeway, the Mustang was almost trapped by a TMZ tour bus.
“The bus driver veered right into the same lane the suspects were trying to speed down,” the outlet later reported on its website. “The driver tells us he never saw the chase coming behind him. He was innocently changing lanes, and ended up cutting off the suspects.”
It was close, but the suspects were able to maneuver around the TMZ bus and head down Figueroa Street toward South L.A. But by then, spike strips and collisions with other vehicles had badly damaged the car’s tires, and at around 3:30 p.m., it made a final stop on 51st Street and Central Avenue.
The driver and his associate, since identified respectively as 20-year-old Herschel Reynolds and 19-year-old Isaiah Young, both from Los Angeles, shook the hands of bystanders and posed for selfies before being taken into custody by police without incident. According to the Times, Reynolds and Young were both booked into the L.A. County Jail; Reynolds was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, while Young was held on $80,000 bail.
No injuries were reported as a result of the chase.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum