The Long Beach Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT), with the assistance of Long Beach Police K-9 officers, arrested a suspect after he fled from Signal Hill Police Department in a stolen vehicle that was wanted in connection with a home invasion robbery.
At approximately on Tuesday, June 8, 2004, a Signal Hill Police officer was conducting random vehicle license plates checks in a motel parking lot in the 3500 block of East Pacific Coast Highway. Upon running the license plate of a green 1999 Chevy Malibu, the officer learned that the vehicle was stolen a few days prior during a residential robbery in the City of Paramount, and was “flagged” as armed and dangerous. At that time, officers from the Signal Hill Police Department began conducting surveillance on the vehicle and observed a male suspect enter the vehicle and drive away. They attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, however, the driver refused to pull over and a pursuit was initiated. The suspect vehicle continued to travel until it collided with a green 1999 Toyota Corolla at the intersection of Redondo Avenue and Spring Street. The force of that collision caused the Corolla, driven by a 34 year old female, to strike two other vehicles, a white 1990 GMC truck driven by a 20 year-old male and a white Ford Explorer driven by a 37 year-old female. The driver of the Corolla was the only one who complained of pain, however, she refused medical treatment. Immediately after the collision, the suspect exited the Chevy Malibu and fled on foot into a nearby business in the 3500 block of East Spring Street.
The Signal Hill Police Department began setting up a perimeter and requested the assistance of the Long Beach Police Department. Based on the possibility the suspect may have barricaded himself inside the business, the building was evacuated and the Long Beach Police Department’s SWAT team was activated. With the assistance of a police K-9, and as the SWAT team prepared to enter the building to search for the suspect, the officers were alerted by the K-9 that the suspect was hiding in some bushes nearby. The suspect, identified as 22 year-old Felix Avelar of Long Beach was taken into custody without incident. The suspect, who is on parole for assaulting a police officer, was turned over to the Signal Hill Police Department and is facing charges of stolen vehicle, felony evading, and hit and run, and is being held without bail. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will determine whether he will face the residential robbery charge.