Hemet Police Arrest Suspected Car Thieves after Early Morning High Speed Chase
Steven Kirkwood and Darnell Travis
HEMET – After authorities identified a vehicle as stolen, a high speed chase through the city ensued, ending a foot chase and the arrest of two suspects.
On Saturday January 16 at 4:05 AM, a Hemet Police Officer was traveling east in the 3000 block of W. Acacia Ave. pulled up behind a white Honda Civic, checked the plate and confirmed that it was reported lost or stolen. The officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, but the driver failed to yield and a pursuit was initiated.
According to a press release from the Hemet Police Department, accelerated to speeds of approx. 60 MPH ran a red light and then crossed over into the on-coming eastbound lanes before pulling into the parking lot of a Taco Bell. It continued through the parking lot where it came to a stop behind a Mia’s restaurant where the driver and passenger exited and fled on foot in different directions.
The officer chased after the driver on foot and was able to catch up to him and detain him without incident. A second officer that responded to assist spotted the foot pursuit and exited his vehicle to chase the passenger, who he outran and detained without incident.
The driver was identified as Darnell Travis (12-17-95) and the passenger as Steven Kirkwood (11-01-97). Kirkwood was found to have tools that are commonly used to steal vehicles in his pocket and is on probation for vehicle theft. He was arrested for possession of stolen property, conspiracy and for probation violation.
Travis is on active parole for burglary and an additional parole hold was obtained by officers. He was arrested for evading police, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and parole hold.
Both suspects were taken to Hemet PD and later transported to county jail.
Police reported that the registered owner of the vehicle who lived in Hemet was contacted, was unaware his vehicle had been stolen. The owner told the officers he had reported the front plate lost or stolen earlier on an earlier date.