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Suspected copper thief hit, killed while running from police on 55 Freeway in Tustin

A suspected copper wire thief was struck and killed by a car while running away from police on the 55 Freeway in Tustin on Monday. 

According to Tustin Police Department, officers were dispatched to a building off of First Street and Yorba Avenue at around 11:30 a.m. in regards to a person who was allegedly stealing copper wire from a building in the area. 

The caller told police that he was throwing the wire to the ground from the rooftop of the building. 

Upon arrival, police found the suspect, a 32-year-old man from Santa Ana, pushing a shopping cart filled with the copper from the scene. When he saw the officers, he "ditched the stolen property, jumped a side of fence to the side of the freeway," a statement from Tustin police said. 

As they set up a perimeter in the area to search for him, the suspect jumped onto northbound lanes of the 55 FWY near First St. and Fourth Street, where he was struck by a car. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The suspect has not yet been identified pending notification of next of kin. 

The incident caused an extensive traffic backup as authorities investigated the incident. 

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