FREMONT — In one fell swoop, nearly 30 cars were broken into early Tuesday in Fremont, and police arrested two people believed to be involved after a high-speed chase into Hayward, while at least one other suspect escaped, authorities said.
Around 1:07 a.m., Fremont police said they received a call about people breaking into car windows near the Mosaic Apartments at 39867 Fremont Blvd., in the Sundale neighborhood, not far from downtown.
Officers headed to the area of the break-ins spotted a Honda CR-V driving away that had earlier been flagged by an automated license plate reader as stolen from San Jose, and they pursued it.
According to police dispatch audio archives from Broadcastify, police were chasing the Honda north on Fremont Boulevard often at speeds of 90 mph, and at one point hitting 105 mph.
The chase then went east on Decoto Road through Union City, with officers involved in the chase reporting the driver was on the wrong side of the road without the car’s headlights on, while still traveling around 90mph.
After heading north on Mission Boulevard, police “used a pursuit intervention technique” or PIT, to stop the car, Bosques said. The chase ended near Lexington Avenue and Seneca Street, according to the dispatch audio.
A 16-year-old driving the car fled on foot and was arrested, as was a 19-year-old also in the car, according to Geneva Bosques, a spokeswoman for the Fremont Police Department. Items stolen from other cars in Fremont were found in the car, along with a replica gun, Bosques said.
Police called for an ambulance for one of the suspects, but Bosques couldn’t confirm if there were any injuries to suspects or officers during the pursuit.
The 16-year-old had an existing warrant, Bosques said, and was booked into a juvenile detention center on charges of evading police, driving a stolen vehicle and obstructing or resisting police.
The 19-year-old was booked into the Fremont Jail, but Bosques said she couldn’t provide details on the charges against them. The car they were in was also involved in a crime in San Jose, Bosques said.
Meanwhile, another group of Fremont officers chased a Mercedes in the area believed to be involved with the break-ins, but the pursuit was called off after the driver sped through a construction zone on Interstate 880 south near Auto Mall Parkway.
Bosques said it’s unclear how many people were in the Mercedes.
In all, Bosques said there were 29 cars broken into, about 15 of them at the apartment complex, and the others on nearby streets.
One person whose cars were broken into posted a screenshot Tuesday on Reddit about the break-ins, showing a text message thread with a photo of a broken car window.
So woke up to this little gem this morning from Fremont
Another car was reported stolen from the Sundale area around 5:42 a.m., Bosques said, but was located a short distance away about 30 minutes later, and it is unclear if it is connected to the break-ins.
Bosques did not have an estimate on the total value of things stolen from the cars, and said the break-ins are still under investigation, and San Jose police are involved, as well.
Fremont is one of several Bay Area cities experiencing a surge in auto break-ins, and its police department last summer was one of five awarded $750,000 in state surplus funds, requested by State Assemblyman Kansen Chu, to help combat the problem.
In 2017, Fremont saw its highest number of car break-ins in more than a decade at 2,078, according to state crime statistics. The numbers dipped down to 1,850 in 2018, but halfway through 2019, break-ins were occurring at nearly the pace of 2017, Bosques said.
Bosques told this news organization theft from cars in Fremont was up 25 percent through November 2019 over the prior year, though total numbers for all of 2019 were not yet available.