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Vehicle theft suspect's frantic flight leaves path of destruction and injury

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A vehicle theft suspect was in custody Thursday after his frantic efforts to elude arrest left a path of destruction and injury in his wake in San Francisco.

San Francisco police said 24-year-old Robert Sonza of San Francisco was being held in county jail on a litany of charges including driving a stolen vehicle, two counts of evading a police officer, three counts of assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury and hit and run with injury.

The incident began on Wednesday night when officers were notified of a stolen vehicle that was involved in multiple recent auto burglaries in the area of Grant Ave. and Green St.

As they responded, the officers located the stolen vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver failed to yield and fled. A description of the vehicle was broadcasted over the radio and it was again spotted a short time later at Union and Montgomery Streets.

The driver turned into a dead end and as he was driving out, he rammed into an officer's marked police vehicle.

He then continued his escape attempt, driving to Alta and Montgomery Streets, where he rammed into a second marked police vehicle causing injuries to one of the officers.

He continued to flee in his damaged vehicle while officers were now in pursuit.

The suspect raced down Columbus Avenue to Broadway where he struck an occupied vehicle which caused injuries. He then attempted to flee on foot but was arrested at Pacific Avenue and Beckett Street.

When officers searched the stolen vehicle, they discovered a large capacity ammunition magazine.

There was no immediate word on the injuries to the three victims including the SFPD officer.

While an arrest has been made this remains an open investigation. Anyone with information regarding this investigation 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. You may remain anonymous. 


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