Three lead police on chase after allegedly stealing tip money

June 02, 2011

Editor's note: This corrects where the suspects were arrested.

COSTA MESA — Police arrested three men Thursday afternoon after a chase involving a police helicopter, which started when the suspects allegedly stole money from a tip jar at a local Starbucks, authorities said.

Officers arrested two men and a male juvenile around Santa Ana Avenue and Ogle Street. Police first responded to a call about three men stealing tip money from the Starbucks at 250 E. 17th St., and then discovered that the suspects were fleeing the scene in a stolen car, said


Sgt. Jeff Van Es, an Airborne Law Enforcement pilot with the Santa Ana Police Department.

The call about the stolen tip money came in about 12:20 p.m., and authorities learned that the car had been stolen in San Bernardino, said Costa Mesa Police Lt. Bryan Glass. Two of the suspects posed as decoys while the third made off with the tip money.

The three suspects had likely driven to the Starbucks in the stolen car, he said.

After police caught up with the car, its three occupants got out and took off by foot in separate directions. One of them ran into

a store where he was arrested. The other two eluded a pursuing officer, but they were found hiding in residential yards after another officer spotted them and their descriptions matched, police said.

Police had set up a perimeter around Santa Ana and Ogle where about seven officers responded along with a police helicopter, Van Es said.

—Lauren Williams

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