The police chase that ended at the top of Sepulveda Pass with three suspects trying to escape by fleeing into the hills stemmed from a witness who reported a burglary in progress in West Hills, police said Thursday.
The crime occurred about 2 p.m. Tuesday near the 23000 block of Elkwood Street in West Hills. Police used motorcycles, K9s and other equipment in their search, which shut down Skirball Center Drive and Getty Center Drive off-ramps and further jammed 405 Freeway.
A person in the West Hills neighborhood was concerned after seeing a suspect knock on the front door of a home, then go to the back of the house after no one answered the front door.
The witness called police and stayed on the line with the dispatcher so he was able to provide up-to-the-second information on the movement of the possible suspects until police could arrive, police said.
The chase unfolded Tuesday afternoon in the western San Fernando Valley and continued into the Sepulveda Pass, where the suspects' vehicle wound up trapped in heavy traffic, prompting them to bail out of the vehicle and run into the trees and brush alongside Sepulveda Boulevard.
The suspects were responsible for two other flocking type burglaries in West Hills Tuesday and may be responsible for other burglaries in the area, police said.
Flocking burglaries typically occur during daytime hours, police said. In a flocking burglary, the perpetrators drive "a fairly decent vehicle" and park a few houses away from their target location, police said.
They then knock on the front door and when no one answers, one goes to the rear of the home and breaks in. The person inside the house unlocks the front door and all the perpetrators carry property away.