Three thieves with guns commandeered a couple's BMW in Pacific Beach Monday, then led police on a brief pursuit before abandoning the car on Interstate 8 and making a failed attempt to escape on foot.
The carjackers accosted the 35-year-old man and 29-year-old woman after the victims parked their car in the 3700 block of Ingraham Street to go to nearby Rocky's restaurant about 11:40 a.m., according to San Diego police.
The bandits, who were wearing hooded jackets, forced the couple back into the blue-gray sedan and got in after them, one of them getting behind the wheel and driving off to the south.
A witness made an emergency call to report the carjacking, and police began searching for the stolen vehicle, SDPD Sgt. Ray Battrick said.
About five minutes later, an officer spotted the BMW on eastbound I-8 in Mission Valley.
For several minutes, the driver refused to yield, and as he sped along the freeway, the carjackers threw their guns out of the car, Battrick said.
Near Hotel Circle, the fleeing suspect pulled over in a center median area, where he and his accomplices got out of the sedan and ran across the westbound freeway lanes and into the adjacent commercial district.
Several minutes later, officers with a service dog found the three suspects hiding in bushes near a motel and took them into custody, Munoz said. The men's names were not immediately available.
The victims were not injured, and their car was undamaged, the sergeant said.
Officers were able to recover the thieves' ditched guns, according to Battrick.
Authorities closed the left-hand lane of the freeway in the area along with a nearby connector ramp as the search and arrests played out.