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San Francisco police identify suspected catalytic converter thief who struck patrol car

PIX Now -- Thursday morning headlines from the KPIX newsroom
PIX Now -- Thursday morning headlines from the KPIX newsroom 12:39

SAN FRANCISCO -- Police in San Francisco have identified the suspect in a Monday catalytic converter theft who injured an officer when she struck a patrol vehicle while fleeing from authorities.

The driver in the incident, identified as 28 year-old female San Francisco resident Lorrayna Puefua, was taken into custody Monday morning, police said.

The theft was reported shortly after 5 a.m. in the 400 block of Chestnut Street, where a man told officers that two unknown suspects had just stolen his car's catalytic converter, according to police.

Officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspects' car, double-parked in the area of Larkin and Chestnut streets.

They tried to conduct a traffic stop, but Puefua -- who was behind the wheel -- allegedly tried to flee and hit one of the officers and their patrol vehicle, police said.  The officer sustained non-life threatening injuries, police said. Medics responded to the scene and transported the injured officer to the hospital for treatment. 

Police pursued the vehicle, which continued driving at a high rate of speed, striking both parked and occupied vehicles. The pursuit led officers to the area of Embarcadero and Market Street, where both suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled from the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, officers took Puefua into custody. The male suspect fled from the scene and is still at large.   

The female suspect was not injured as a result of the vehicle collisions and the foot pursuit. No other individuals were transported to the hospital for injuries.   

Puefua was transported to the San Francisco County Jail and was booked on 17 charges including four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of resisting an executive officer, conspiracy, grand theft, tampering with a motor vehicle, felony hit and run with injury, misdemeanor hit and run, two counts of resisting/delaying arrest, mail theft, reckless evading a police officer, violating probation violation and driving without a license.   

While one arrest has been made, police said the second suspect remains outstanding in this open and active investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Tipsters may remain anonymous.   

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