Bexar deputy's patrol unit catches fire after chase

Suspects charged with theft, other charges

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County sheriff's deputy patrol unit went up in flames Wednesday evening after a chase on the Northeast Side.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. in the 6600 block of Walzem Road behind Christian World Worship Center.

The deputy responded to a report of two men who allegedly tried to steal fencing and scrap metal from a construction site. 

Sgt. Frank Bellino said one of the suspects tried to get away when they discovered he was wanted on two felony warrants.

"As the officer went to handcuff him, the subject took off and ran through the field here behind the church," said Bellino.

The deputy chased after the man in his patrol unit, but jumped out and began to follow the man on foot.

"The officer threw it in park and pursued him on foot. He caught the suspect but eventually when he returned to his vehicle it was fully engulfed in flames," said Bellino.

The deputy was not injured, officials said. A sergeant on scene said if people in the area heard a popping noise, it wasn't ammunition from the patrol vehicle but from the SUV's tires.

Both suspects were taken into custody and could face various charges including theft. Officials are investigating how the vehicle caught fire.

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