Short pursuit yields burglary tools, narcotics.
A wanted felon was found hiding in the closet of a vacant apartment near McBean Parkway and Avenue Scott Tuesday afternoon after leading police on a pursuit from the Mervyns’ parking lot.
Lancaster resident Aaron Kellingsworth, 31, was originally spotted driving erratically by a deputy near McBean and Rockwell Canyon. The deputy followed the vehicle into the parking lot at River Oaks shopping center, where Kellingsworth stopped only to let his passenger out near Mervyns. When the passenger ran from the parking lot, he sped off toward Creekside Road.
Other deputies joined the pursuit when the suspect turned on McBean Parkway, following him to the parking lot of Panera Bread at the corner of Baywood Lane, where Kellingsworth crashed into a planter and abandoned the vehicle, running into one of the nearby apartment buildings.
A property manager at the location happened to be on the way to another area of the complex to show a vacant apartment to an off-duty police officer from another agency, when she found the door to the apartment was locked, even though it had previously been left unlocked. She unlocked the door and while showing the apartment to the officer the suspect was found hiding in a closet. The off-duty officer held the suspect at gunpoint until the deputies were alerted, quickly responded and took him into custody.
In the car abandoned by Kellingsworth, deputies found a replica firearm, burglary tools, narcotic paraphernalia, pepper spray and other identification documents belonging to the suspect. When the suspect was searched, deputies recovered methamphetamine and personal identifying information belonging to other individuals.
Kellingsworth was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on two no bail felony drug-related warrants, and misdemeanor warrants for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and resisting/obstructing a peace officer.
He also faces felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of tear gas by a narcotics addict and misdemeanor charges of possession of profile information, driving on a suspended license, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, recklessly evading a peace officer, driving under the influence and possession of burglary tools.
He is being held without bail pending future court proceedings. The passenger of the vehicle was not located. No one was injured during the incident.