Posted: Oct 19, 2012 7:32 PM by Christina Jensen, KSBY News
A Santa Maria man is in jail tonight after police say he led them on a vehicle chase through the city after stealing items from a JC Penny's store.
It happened a little before 1 p.m. Friday in the 1300 block of South Broadway.
Police say a uniformed patrol driver happened to be driving in the area when he saw several suspects running out of the JC Penny's store with stolen items.
They say Gabriel Valencia got into a waiting vehicle and sped off.
The pursuit entered Broadway during a high traffic time of day. A short time later, Santa Maria Police Officers called the pursuit off because of the dangers it posed to the public.
Police say Valencia later stopped the vehicle and ran through an alley.
Officers say they located the vehicle and he was later arrested for burglary and felony evading arrest.
Police say he may have local ties to gangs.
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