Lotto Ticket Theft Suspects Crash into Travis Air Force Base

In this Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, planes take off from Travis Air Force Base, northeast of San Francisco.  (Robinson Kuntz/The Daily Republic File)
In this Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, planes take off from Travis Air Force Base, northeast of San Francisco. (Robinson Kuntz/The Daily Republic File)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE -- A group of South Bay men sought in a string of break-ins targeting rolls of lottery tickets were followed to Fairfield, then fled authorities in a chase that ended when the suspects crashed into a gate at Travis Air Force Base on Wednesday morning, police said.

All five suspects, believed to be Santa Clara County residents, will eventually be prosecuted locally in connection with smash-and-grab burglaries reported in Santa Clara, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Campbell, said Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno. The thefts revolved around liquor stores and gas stations that were broken into after closing, and cash and lottery tickets were reported stolen.

Wednesday's episode began around 5 a.m. when Santa Clara detectives were conducting surveillance on a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV they believed was carrying at least one man with a known felony burglary warrant from multiple cities in the county, Moreno said. The surveillance occurred in the area where Santa Clara, Milpitas and North San Jose broadly intersect.

The detectives followed the SUV when it got on the freeway, all the way to Fairfield, where the suspect vehicle stopped at a gas station off Interstate 80, Moreno said. The detectives contacted Fairfield police to make the arrest since it was in their jurisdiction.

But once the suspects spotted police, the SUV sped away, sparking a chase that was eventually taken over by deputies with the Solano County Sheriff's Office, Moreno said. The SUV eventually crashed through the main gate at Travis Air Force Base at 6:37 a.m., prompting a lock-down of all of the base's gates. The suspects abandoned the vehicle and tried to run off.

They didn't get very far: The guards called the Air Force police, and the suspects were "rounded up quickly," Moreno said.

Neither the suspects nor any of the pursuing officers were injured in the chase, Moreno said. The suspects, whose identities were not immediately released, were initially held at the Solano County jail but were expected to be transported to Santa Clara County for prosecution.

The air base resumed normal operation about an hour after the gate crashing.

This article is written by Robert Salonga from Mercury News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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