Los Angeles Driver Stops for Gas While Being Chased by Police [Updated]

In a city where police chases are an Olympic sport, this guy gets a row of perfect 10s—and possibly a cash discount since he paid inside.

What happens if you run low on gas during a police chase? All that speed no doubt tanks your fuel economy. Ditching the car and running is always an option, but one cunning Los Angeles-area driver on Tuesday built up enough of a lead from his pursuers in blue to be able to make a pit stop along the way. 

Bonus: The driver even went inside to pay—not at the pump. While we at The Drive don’t recommend ever getting into a police chase of your own, we have to admit that walking in to pay at the counter is the ultimate flex on The Man’s inability to keep up. 

The Glendora Police Department told NBC Los Angeles that the driver was wanted for a theft at a Home Depot—hence the chase. The driver’s matte black Audi A4 had major front end damage including a missing bumper, but it was unclear if that damage happened during the chase. 

When the chase reached the city of El Monte, the driver took advantage of the lead he’d built up on the cops to fuel up mid-chase at a Chevron station. 

“I’ve always thought about, is there ever a procedure where they refuel and keep going? This is it,” said NBC Los Angeles’ newscaster, who described the bizarre pause in action “a quick pit stop, for sure.”

At the station, the suspect ran inside, put $10 in cash on the counter, and proceeded to fuel up, reports KCAL 9

The driver actually attempted to stop for fuel twice. Just before the fill-up that was captured on camera, the suspect barged into a different Chevron station in La Puente to demand fuel—for free. 

Security footage from the first Chevron captured the driver’s unsuccessful attempt to demand fuel for free. , Screencap via KCAL 9

“As we continued refusing, he started to get more aggressive,” a gas station employee told KCAL 9. “He started demanding more and and threatening us that if we don’t, it will get much more messy or crazy.”

“It just seemed like it was just another crazy man,” the Chevron employee continued.

You can view the Chevron’s security footage on KCAL 9 here, which shows the man yelling, “Turn it on!” to the person at the Chevron counter. Afterwards, the suspect was captured on the first station’s security cameras tossing something into the back of a white pickup truck at another gas station, apparently in exchange for something from the pickup’s driver. 

The driver hands a package off to another man fueling up a pickup at the first Chevron., Screencap via KCAL 9

There’s also a reason why he hadn’t seen cops on the ground for a while, too. Police gave up on chasing the driver in patrol cars as they didn’t want to encourage the driver to be more reckless behind the wheel and put others in danger, KCAL 9 reports. Instead, they followed his car from the air. 

After that, the driver went through several cities to hop onto westbound Interstate 10 in West Covina, then back onto surface streets in East Los Angeles, where NBC Los Angeles says he “once again continued to perform dangerous, evasive maneuvers.” The chase then picked back up on westbound State Route 60 east of downtown L.A., and at around 6:25 p.m., the car pulled into a parking garage. 

The man surrendered to police in the parking lot, KCAL 9 reports, as they had actually been keeping up with him the whole time. 

Updated Thursday, October 22, 2020, 9:18 p.m. ET: Further details were added about the driver’s fuel stops and arrest above. [H/T DecayingOrbit!]

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