AVILA BEACH, Calif.- Santa Maria Police got much more than they bargained for Wednesday morning after they responded to call of a wanted parolee, believed to be armed.
Instead, officers found a stolen car with four suspects inside; wanted parolee and driver Bradley Larson ,Thomas Clutts, Laura Alvarez and Nancy Camacho. After they failed to pull over, they lead officers on a high-speed chase.
"We were just asked by Santa Maria PD to assist them with deploying a spike strip and the pursuit continued into Avila Beach, said Public Information Officer JW Townsen, California Highway Patrol, San Luis Obispo County.
Immediately after the spike strip was used, the chase ended. Officer Townsen says spike strips are an important tool when dealing with car chases, "once the tires are deflated or shredded it's a lot harder for someone to flee in a vehicle."
When a car drives over the spike strip, typically the rubber caps will be pushed down into the spike deflating the tire.
"Once the tire hits the spike strip it deflates and it is no longer repairable, the tire is ruined," said Elmer Nixon, owner of Nixon Tire.
"There is a lanyard so whenever we deploy it we can get it back as fast as possible so other motorists don't drive over it," explained Townsend.
That's not the only risk officers take when using the spikes.
"We have had an officers injured, not from deploying the spikes strips, but from vehicles that were being pursued, swerving to miss the spike strip, hitting officers, hitting our vehicles," said Townsen.
All four suspects are in Santa Barbara County Jail facing a number of charges including, vehicle theft, possession of meth and reckless driving.
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