By Mary O’KEEFE
A car chase that began with an armed robbery in Burbank raced through Sunland, Crescenta Valley and ended at the Americana in Glendale.
The saga began at a liquor store in the 2000 block of North Glenoaks, Burbank. The employee of the store noticed a suspicious man, later identified as Alexander Moya, 19, of Los Angeles, enter her store.
“She was a little nervous because the store had been robbed the week earlier,” said Sgt. Robert Quesada of the Burbank Police Department.
The employee called the police but as they were en route they received a call that the store had been robbed and the suspect had a gun. When police arrived they noticed the vehicle driven by a woman, later identified as Christina Tristan, 22, of Burbank, speeding away and gave chase.
The driver led the Burbank police on a chase through Sunland, Sun Valley and through La Tuna Canyon.
“She was driving recklessly and had hit another vehicle,” Quesada said.
She entered the Foothill (210) freeway at La Tuna and continued westbound. Once on the freeway her speed increased to at times 110 miles per hour, he said.
The driver traveled southbound on the Glendale (2) freeway, then to the westbound Ventura (134) freeway exiting onto Central Avenue. She then traveled southbound crashing into a vehicle and coming to a stop at the Americana.
Moya, in the front passenger seat, jumped out and ran. Tristan and Joseph Hernandez, 18, of Burbank who was a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle, were arrested.
Glendale police joined Burbank in a search for Moya, said Sgt. Tom Lorenz of the Glendale police. A SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit and K-9 units assisted in the search.
“They found the suspect crouching down in a corner in the parking garage at the Americana,” Lorenz said.
Police believe the suspects were the ones who had robbed the same liquor store last week.
Moya was arrested on four counts of robbery, Tristan was arrested on three counts of robbery and felony evading and Hernandez was arrested for robbery.