Suspected car thief leads police on high-speed pursuit

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PHOENIX -- A suspected car thief was taken into police custody Thursday afternoon following a lengthy pursuit through much of the Valley.

Just after 1 p.m., Phoenix Police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety began following a maroon van on Interstate 17 that was reportedly being driven by 18-year-old Christian Barron.

Barron refused to stop for police, and proceeded to exit on Thunderbird Road.

Authorities decided to back off the vehicle, choosing instead to follow Barron and his female passenger through the air.

Barron proceeded to drive all over city streets and freeways, taking a path that included State Route 51, the U.S. 60, and Interstate 10.

He eventually decided to stop driving in the area of Central Avenue and Lincoln Road, and exited the vehicle and laid on the ground.

Several police officers in the area quickly responded and placed Barron under arrest.

Barron was booked into jail on charges of theft of means of transportation, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful flight, and an outstanding warrant.

Police said Barron's female passenger was not booked into jail.