A high-speed police pursuit that traveled through Venice and Santa Monica surface streets ended Thursday with the driver being arrested and a passenger who fled the vehicle still being sought.
Police received a 911 call about 2:15 p.m. reporting that a woman was being detained by Vons store security personnel on suspicion of shoplifting, according to Sgt. Richard Lewis.
While officers were on route to the store in the 1300 block of Wilshire Boulevard, two men allegedly waiting in the parking lot for the woman entered the Vons and brandished a firearm, possibly in an attempt to free the woman, according to authorities.
When police arrived, the two men jumped into a black Honda sedan and a pursuit began along surface streets, Lewis said.
About 3:40 p.m., the car pulled on to a side street near the Venice boardwalk and a passenger fled the vehicle. As of 5 p.m., the man had not been apprehended. He was last seen near Breeze Avenue and Venice Boardwalk.
The car then backed up and continued the pursuit.
At some point, a handgun was discarded from the vehicle, Lewis said. It has since been recovered.
After traveling through surface streets for about 10 more minutes, the driver pulled over near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and 25th Street (map), just north of the Santa Monica Airport.
He exited the vehicle, took a drag on a cigarette and calmly sat down on a curb. Police took the man into custody.
At least one vehicle was sideswiped during the pursuit. No injuries were reported.
Witnesses told NBC4 they saw the men in the car laughing during the chase. Police were seen putting a bottle of clear liquid into an evidence bag.