Suspect driving stolen car leads officers on chase

Suspect driving stolen car leads officers on chase

Posted: Updated:
Christian Barron Christian Barron
2:24 p.m. 2:24 p.m.
2:04 p.m. 2:04 p.m.
PHOENIX -

A teenager led police on a high speed chase behind the wheel of a stolen minivan. And he wasn't in the vehicle alone.

Phoenix Police officers were conducting surveillance on a maroon minivan that had been stolen. About 1 p.m. in the area of 16th Street and Van Buren, they tried to pull over the Dodge minivan, and the driver fled.

The suspect then jumped on the I-17 heading into north Phoenix, before looping through parts of Tempe, Mesa, and finally back to central Phoenix where it all ended near 1st Avenue and Tonto about 2:23 p.m.

He sped ahead of cars on the freeway, and officers in unmarked cars followed from a safe distance. In one intersection, he clipped a truck, and kept going.

There were actually two people in that van -- the 18-year-old suspect and his 25-year-old girlfriend. She was not arrested.

The suspect's sister told us he left home about 11:00 a.m. to go to Food City. The next time she saw him he was in handcuffs, just steps from their front door.

His sister has identified the suspect as 18-year-old Christian Barron.

We asked her: "So they said he was in a stolen car, do you know anything about that?"

Alma Perez, Barron's sister, told us: "His friend let him borrow the van, he said it was his and he had the keys so my brother just took it."

Perez says her brother probably got scared when he noticed officers trailing him. She says he just got out of jail on a drug paraphernalia charge back in July.

Police say the owner reported the van stolen from 3rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road. She'd left the keys inside the van and walked away for about 15 minutes.

As for Barron, police say they found drugs during a search.

Barron was booked into jail on charges of vehicle theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful flight, and the outstanding warrant.

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