Truck Theft Turns Into A Lengthy Chase, Assault, and Inevitable Arrest
Photo: end of the chase
VALLEY CENTER – A recent vehicle chase may appear to be exciting when monitored from the safety of a helicopter, but it was critical support for a life-endangering situation on the road. It all started with a report of a stolen flatbed F550 truck in the area of Pauma Valley.
At 7:25 AM on July 17th, San Diego County Sheriff’s Valley Center Deputies received a call about the victim following the stolen vehicle. Deputies encountered the vehicle and the alleged truck thief in the parking lot of a 7-11 store in the 33700 block of Valley Center Road on the Rincon Indian Reservation.
During a felony hot stop attempt in the parking lot, the suspect, Matthew Padrnos (27) ignored their orders and fled in the truck. That led to a truck-chase through Rincon, Pauma Valley, Pala, Bonsall, and unincorporated Escondido.
Suspect Padrnos threw multiple tools at the pursuing deputies throughout the pursuit. The California Highway Patrol got ahead of the predicament by successfully deploying spike strips.
The disabled truck’s front tires lowered the speed of the pursuit to a minimum until the vehicle eventually stopped on the northbound 15 freeway just north of Gopher Canyon Road. Still not giving up, the suspect then ran on foot through the brush and into an empty field near Highway 395 and Nelson Way — with deputies and a K9 not far behind.
The running Padrnos was believed to be holding a handgun to his head during this foot pursuit.
The suspect would eventually find and enter another vehicle and barricade himself inside while refusing to comply with orders to come out and give up. That prompted deputies to break the vehicle’s windows for K9 deployment.
Padrnos exited the vehicle after the windows were broken and almost immediately surrendered to deputies. Although the suspect initially refused to identify himself, further investigation discovered his identity as Matthew Padrnos (12/04/81). He was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for vehicle theft, stolen property, evading, armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony and assault.