Stolen big rig goes up in flames as suspect runs away from police during pursuit

CBS News Los Angeles

A high-speed pursuit through multiple counties came to a fiery end when a big rig, stolen from a Bakersfield gas station, burst into flames in Rancho Cucamonga.

Sparks fly from the stolen big rig. KCAL News

The theft occurred as the truck's driver was refueling at a gas station when the suspect jumped in and fled with the vehicle.

Authorities located the stolen big rig on SR-14, a highway stretching from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert, when the pursuit ensued.

The driver navigated the truck through LA County, entering the I-5 Freeway, then onto CA-134 eastbound, and finally merging onto the I-210 Freeway.

During the chase, the truck's cab experienced several violent shudders.

Despite minimal traffic, the chase continued from the San Fernando Valley into the San Gabriel Valley without interruption.

Near Claremont, law enforcement deployed spike strips, effectively puncturing the truck's front tires, with one tire being completely shredded and ejected into the air.

The big rig caught on fire after losing all of the tires on the front wheels. KCAL News

Despite the damage, the suspect managed to drive through Ontario, swerving across lanes at reduced speeds before accelerating to 50 mph, causing sparks to emanate from the vehicle. The sparks quickly turned into flames and eventually engulfed the big rig's cab. 

Eventually, the driver, 25-year-old Roberto Rivera, abandoned the truck, leaping over a wall near the freeway. He ran through an apartment complex before officers arrested him. 

He has been booked for evading police, vehicle theft and other charges. 

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