Auto Theft Suspect Caught After 19-Mile Police Pursuit

Police arrested a Murrieta man for vehicle theft and felony evading officers after a high-speed chase of 19 miles through Murrieta and Tem...

Police arrested a Murrieta man for vehicle theft and felony evading officers after a high-speed chase of 19 miles through Murrieta and Temecula early Wednesday morning, according to authorities.

Murrieta police officers responding to a family disturbance call located a black SUV matching the suspect vehicle description shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Jefferson Avenue near Corning Place. A records check indicated the vehicle was stolen from Fallbrook on Aug. 1. Eric Blais, 45, failed to yield to officers and continued into Temecula at a high rate of speed.

Police pursued the suspect vehicle through Old Town Temecula, onto Temecula Parkway, northbound on Interstate 15, back into Murrieta and back to Temecula, where the chase ended on Vista Del Monte Road. Blais, who has an extensive criminal history dating back nearly 20 years, was booked into Southwest Detention Center.

Officers searching the vehicle at the conclusion of the case found a Chihuahua, which was turned over to a local animal shelter.

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