SAN LEANDRO -- Police in San Leandro were able to quickly find and arrest a man who was caught breaking into a car after the victim scared him off then called officers for help on Tuesday.
At approximately noon, police received a phone call from a man on the 100 block of East 14th Street in San Leandro, saying he had witnessed the suspect, identified as Oakland resident Luis Martinez, 24, breaking into his car.
When the man attempted to ask what the man was doing, he left in a waiting vehicle.
Lt. Randy Brandt said officers started searching the area for a possible car that matched the victim's description or for the suspect.
Just minutes later, Brandt said, a motorcycle officer saw a subject fitting Martinez's description driving a different vehicle in the area of Maud and Evergreen Avenues.
When the suspect saw the officer, police said he abandoned the vehicle and ran.
Officers chased him through residential yards and through heavily trafficked streets before he was apprehended several blocks north of where he abandoned the vehicle in the 800 block of Juana Avenue.
It was later determined that the vehicle Martinez was driving had been stolen.
Brandt said if it were not for the victim paying close attention to what Martinez looked like and what kind of car he was driving, it could have been very hard to find a suspect.
"Really good witnesses pick out things unique about person," he said. "It is smart not to approach someone, but also do not hesitate to call even if something just looks suspicious. Minutes make the difference."
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-847-2164 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.