A Daly City woman was arrested early Monday evening with a teen relative and her toddler child in her car after she fled from police following an alleged theft and assault at the Hillsdale Mall Macy's location in San Mateo.
According to a news release issued by the San Mateo Police Department, the suspect took merchandise from multiple stores at the Hillsdale Shopping Center and assaulted a Macy's loss prevention agent before fleeing the scene in a car with two minors, including a one-year-old toddler.
Police received a call at 5:39 p.m. Monday evening about the incident at the Macy's store located at Hillsdale Mall. The initial report indicated that the store's loss prevention agent had been pepper sprayed and assaulted by a shoplifter, but police later determined that while the suspect had pepper spray on her person, it was taken away by loss prevention agents before it could be used.
Police did say that when the suspect was caught allegedly attempting to steal cosmetics and clothing by concealing them in the base of a stroller and leaving the store without paying. The 15-year-old and one-year-old, later identified as a relative and the suspect's toddler child, were with her during the attempted theft. The suspect returned the property when confronted by Macy's loss prevention, but as the agents detained her for police, the suspect assaulted one loss prevention agent by kicking him and attempting to bite a second agent.
The suspect fled the shopping center in a vehicle and a description was provided to police who were close by due to an unrelated service call. Officers spotted the vehicle as it left the mall, and attempt a traffic stop before the suspect fled. Officers engaged in a brief pursuit that lasted about two minutes and was terminated after police learned there were minors in the car as the suspect drove recklessly, running several stops signs, a stop light, in addition to causing a minor collision after driving on the wrong side of the road against traffic.
Officers reported last seeing the vehicle traveling westbound State Route 92 from South El Camino Real. A "be on the lookout" message was sent out to county law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol. A short time later at around 6:09 p.m., a Colma police officer spotted the suspect vehicle, followed it, and was ultimately able to conduct a traffic stop at Geneva and San Jose Avenues in San Francisco. The driver yielded and was taken into custody discovered. Police determined that the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Daly City resident Estrella Paniagua, had also take merchandise from a second store at Hillsdale Shopping Center.
Paniagua was arrested on multiple charges including second degree robbery, evading a peace officer with disregard for public safety, driving opposite direction on a road to evade a peace officer, and child endangerment. The two minors were released to family members.
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