Police use pepperball rounds, police dog to arrest stolen vehicle suspect in Del Mar

The vehicle was stolen on Kettner Boulevard near West Harbor Drive late Monday


A man accused of stealing an SUV in downtown San Diego was arrested early Tuesday, Sept. 14, near Del Mar after police fired pepperball rounds in the vehicle and deployed a police dog, authorities said.

The SUV — a Range Rover — was stolen about 11:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, on Kettner Boulevard near West Harbor Drive, police said. The person who had been driving the vehicle told officers he had gotten out to throw away trash when a stranger jumped in and took off.

The SUV was located when an off-duty San Diego police officer and an off-duty Border Patrol agent, who were each headed north on Interstate 5, spotted the SUV stopped near Via de la Valle. The vehicle was missing a front tire.

The officer and agent stopped to help, and the off-duty police officer called in the incident to San Diego police dispatchers. When they learned the vehicle was stolen, the officer and agent backed away and waited for officers to respond.

Officers tried to persuade the man to surrender, but the man stayed in the vehicle, even after police fired pepperball rounds into the SUV. They eventually released a police dog, which bit the man.

The man was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment of a dog bite wound. Police said they expected the man to be booked into jail in connection with the vehicle theft.