Lamorinda police pursued and ultimately caught a young woman who led them on a metal-grinding chase that ended when she abandoned her rental truck and attempted to conceal herself in the compressor room of the Moraga Safeway store.
Details are still a little murky but News24-680 has determined that the young woman, who remains unidentified at this time, first came to the attention of officers at around 6:30 p.m. Thursday when she attempted to elude Orinda police, hitting at least one other car in her haste to get away.
Picking up speed and police pursuers, the young woman in her early to mid-20s sped along Moraga Way from Orinda to Moraga in a bobtail U-Haul rental truck. Stunned bystanders at the Moraga shopping center reported hearing sirens and looked up to see the truck speed into town, pass the Ranch House Cafe and brake to a sharp stop in front of the Moraga Safeway store.
“Apparently she ran inside the store and they couldn’t find her so police closed the entire store down,” said Moragan John Eriksen, at the center at the time. “They couldn’t tell if she ran out the back door or not.”
Officers closed in but it was a store employee who found the woman attempting to conceal herself in the compressor room. She was quickly taken into custody.
Orinda Police Chief Scott Haggard said the woman was arrested for the hit and run, driving while under the influence, possession of stolen property and for four outstanding warrants. Haggard did not give the woman’s name, age or place of residence.
Orinda and Moraga police, concerned by a recent spike in residential burglaries in both cities, have been especially watchful in recent weeks. It was not immediately known if the woman was affiliated with recent sightings of men and women driving through Lamorinda neighborhoods trying the locks to cars and homes in the area. Police have reported a more than 50 percent spike in property crimes in Orinda and Moraga in recent months.