Crime & Justice

Man in freeway chase is bank robbery suspect

The end of a police chase Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 along with shots of the
The end of a police chase Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 along with shots of the "Hills Bandit" bank robber, from an NBC L.A. screenshot.
NBC L.A.

The man authorities say led them on a freeway chase through four Southern California counties may be a prolific bank robber.

Stephen Bartlett was arrested around 1 p.m. Thursday after a stake bed truck flew off an Interstate 210 embankment east of Los Angeles and crashed.

Whittier police say he'll be held at their jail. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Authorities say they believe Bartlett is the so-called Hills Bandit who's robbed more than a half-dozen banks in San Diego and Orange counties since May.

Police say the chase began after a business in Santa Fe Springs, east of Los Angeles, reported the possible theft of $12,000 worth of steel.

Authorities say during the chase, the truck caused two crashes and briefly drove the wrong way in traffic.