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Pursuit of stolen car called off on S. Airport Way
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A pursuit of a stolen car Tuesday afternoon was called off after it reached the southern stretch of Airport Way.

Manteca patrol officer Armen Avakian spotted the 1991 gold Acura Integra with three young males inside driving eastbound on Yosemite Avenue as it made a right turn onto Airport Way just south of Yosemite Avenue at about 3 p.m.  

Traveling in the opposite direction he caught a glimpse of the license number and entered it into his in-car computer.  It came back as stolen. He pulled a U-turn and followed the car south on Airport Way, and eventually into the Stadium Retail Shopping Center near the Highway 120 Bypass.

Avakian said he hadn’t activated his lights or siren yet as the motorist first pulled into a parking stall near Kohl’s Department Store – maintaining a close position behind their vehicle. The driver of the stolen vehicle then backed out and circled around the shopping center at about 50 miles per hour.  The Acura then sped back toward Airport Way, turned right and drove southbound over the freeway and continued south on Airport Way into the countryside.

As the officer was in pursuit he called out traffic conditions and their speeds that ranged from 50 on the overpass to 70 when they reached Woodward Avenue and as much as 120 miles an hour as they reached the rural area with no traffic impeding the fleeing motorist.

When they reached an area near Almondwood Drive, the watch commander ordered the pursuit to be ended fearing that a tragedy might occur if it were continued.