03/17/2006

Stolen L.A. SUV drama unfolds as vehicle's owner watches on TV

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES- A man in a stolen sport utility vehicle fled police Thursday, crashing into a vehicle and triggering another accident before coming to a stop and surrendering. The car's owner watched the drama unfold on TV.

The driver remained in the SUV for nearly an hour after police cars blocked his vehicle. At one point he opened the sun roof and poked his head out to talk with officers. Later, he rolled down the driver's side window and leaned out to speak to them again.

As the standoff continued, a man who identified himself as the car's owner called KABC-TV.

"It's kind of devastating watching your car on TV," said Scott Bachmann, who said he was a film editor. He said the vehicle was parked in Beverly Hills when it was stolen.

As Bachmann was speaking, the man stepped out of the SUV with his hands up and was quickly cuffed by police and taken away.

"Oh! OK. Very cool. I'm very relieved," Bachmann said. "Hopefully I'll get the car back and fix it."

The suspect, Jerry Huff, 34, gave up after a police SWAT team pulled two armored vehicles alongside the SUV. He was arrested and booked for investigation of grand theft auto, hit-and-run and felony evading, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.

Lee said police began pursuing the vehicle after its anti-theft tracking system was activated.

Victims involved in the two crashes were treated for minor injuries, police said.

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