An hourslong multi-county pursuit of a stolen big rig that ended with an early-morning standoff on the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana concluded Thursday with the driver in custody, authorities said.
The 18-wheeler was first reported stolen around 8 p.m. Wednesday from the yard of an Individual FoodService warehouse in Bell, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The driver, who was identified only as male, led police through the San Fernando Valley, heading north on the 5 Freeway, and then west on the 118 Freeway into Simi Valley before crossing into Ventura County. The pursuit then returned to Los Angeles County before ultimately ending in Orange County.
Authorities used multiple spike strips in attempts to stop the vehicle. The truck trundled along Southern California’s freeways for nearly seven hours with shredded wheels before it stopped on the 55 Freeway near MacArthur Boulevard in Santa Ana about 3 a.m., CHP officials said.
The driver then refused to come out of the cab, shutting down traffic on the southbound 55 for more than five hours.
SWAT trucks surrounded the cab of the big rig, and by 8:40 a.m. Thursday, the driver was pulled out of the truck, authorities said.
All lanes of the southbound freeway remained closed as officials worked to tow away the big truck.