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LA Car Chase Ends in Movie Theater

A high speed car chase that led authorities throughout the East Los Angeles area finally ended at a movie theater Thursday evening in South Gate. 27-year-old La Mirada resident Christopher Cook was arrested by authorities around 9:00 p.m.

The chase began as part of a mail theft sting orchestrated by the Arcadia Police Department. Officers were alerted when Cook took a package containing a GPS tracker from the 1600 block of Holly Avenue in Arcadia around 6:40 p.m. Such packages, known as "decoy," or "bait packages," are typically expensive items shipped to a local home containing a tracking device to help law enforcement locate them once stolen. Usually the package contains items worth more than $950 so that the theft constitutes a felony.

When police tracked Cook to a parking lot in Hacienda Heights and attempted to confront him, he fled the scene. Cook led authorities on the westbound 60 Freeway to the 5 Freeway via the 710 Freeway before taking surface streets. Cook weaved the vehicle throughout traffic in Commerce and Bell, before pulling into a shopping center at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Garfield Avenue in South Gate.

Cook parked the car, and fled on foot into the Edwards South Gate 20 movie theater. Authorities initially held concern over the possibility of a hostage situation and attempted to clear all bystanders from the scene, including those inside the theater.

By 8:30 p.m., Cook was still inside the theater but family members had arrived on scene to attempt negotiation. Cook eventually was taken into custody around 9:00 p.m. Cook is being held on $115,000 bail and faces charges of theft, evading arrest, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

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