Austin Straps arrested after high speed chase in West Valley ends in Peoria

SURPRISE, AZ - A high speed chase involving a 19-year-old driver in the West Valley ended Wednesday morning in Peoria.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety identified the suspect in the chase as Austin Straps.

The pursuit moved from areas in Litchfield Park to Surprise to Sun City West to Peoria, and appeared to be occurring at speeds of 90 to 100 miles per hour.

DPS said it started when a bulletin went out to all agencies regarding a suspect stealing a car out of a north Phoenix home garage around 9:30 a.m.

DPS said the homeowner heard Straps stealing the vehicle and reported it to authorities.

Within five minutes, he was spotted in the BMW at Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, DPS said.

DPS officers tried to make a traffic stop, but Straps fled.

Officers briefly pursued the car but stopped so the helicopter could follow, DPS said.

Authorities did not follow Straps on the road the rest of the way, and instead followed him by helicopter until they pulled up to his location at the end.

Air15 video showed the suspect car narrowly miss several vehicles and people throughout the chase.

The suspect vehicle gave out around 10:50 a.m. near 107th Avenue and Happy Valley Parkway.

Straps got out of the vehicle and fled on foot to a vacant home. Authorities were able to arrest him at the front door.

DPS said Straps has a criminal record. 

He is facing numerous felonies, including residential burglary, auto theft, felony flight from law enforcement, aggravated assault, endangerment and reckless driving.

There were a handful of people who watched the pursuit on television and then showed up at the scene.

DPS Officer Carrick Cook says people should not follow a police pursuit. 

"You have no idea of the danger," Cook said. "This person could have just killed somebody. Don't ever follow a pursuit."

Cooks says those people not only put themselves in danger but could also jeopardize officers.

DPS says if a law enforcement officer asks a person to leave a crime scene and he or she doesn't, they could be cited.

If you feel as though you were a victim of the criminal acts of the suspect, you're urged to call DPS at 602-223-2000.

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