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Search underway for driver after vehicle pursuit ends in Santa Barbara

sgt. henebry inspects vehicle after pursuit ends on modoc in santa barbara 1
Blake DeVine/KEYT
sgt. henebry inspects vehicle after pursuit ends on modoc in santa barbara 2
Blake DeVine/KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The search is underway for a driver who fled his vehicle after ending a police pursuit in Santa Barbara Friday evening.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Sgt. William Henebry said the sheriff's office attempted to pull over a vehicle near Goleta that was driving with expired tabs and a taillight Friday afternoon.

When deputies moved in, the vehicle reportedly sped off, driving at speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour through the neighborhood. Out of a concern for public safety, the sheriff's office temporarily discontinued the pursuit.

A short time later, sheriff's deputies began to search for the vehicle again and found it traveling on Highway 154. Sgt. Henebry said they pursued the car to Camino Cielo where they lost sight of it due to it traveling at high speeds and on the wrong side of the road.

It is believed the driver traveled onto Stagecoach Road and dropped off two of his passengers before heading back toward Santa Barbara on Highway 154.

The sheriff's office once again pursued the vehicle, however, due to it traveling at high speeds on the wrong side of the road the pursuit was called off again and a helicopter was dispatched to keep an eye on the car.

The sheriff's helicopter reportedly followed the vehicle through the City of Santa Barbara until it ultimately stopped on the 2500 block of Modoc near La Cumbre Junior High.

Santa Barbara police said the driver exited the vehicle after stopping and fled the area.

A search for the driver ensued involving K-9 units and a circling sheriff's helicopter, however, as of 6 p.m. Friday the driver is still at large.

Sgt. Henebry said the sheriff's office is confiscating the suspect's vehicle.

The public is urged to call police if they see anything or anyone suspicious.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Santa Barbara - South County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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