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Bloody clown bandit captured

Not before a string of burglaries and auto thefts

La Mesa police have announced the arrest of 46-year-old transient Michael Colace in connection with last week’s robbery of a 7-Eleven store by a suspect wearing a bloody clown mask. It appears Colace led officers on quite a chase, committing a string of other crimes in his attempt to elude authorities.

First, Colace allegedly abandoned his car when he was spotted by police shortly after the robbery and fled on foot to the 6000 block of Odessa Avenue, where he broke into a residence and burglarized the home while the resident was sleeping. Among the items Colace stole: keys to the resident’s 2005 Town and Country minivan, which he used to flee the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies found the van later that afternoon on the 9000 block of Crest Drive in Spring Valley, where Colace and an accomplice, 39-year-old Terri Franck, are accused of another residential robbery wherein a 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup was stolen from the garage and replaced with the stolen van.

The pair remained on the loose until they were captured in Carlsbad on Saturday, October 19. Between them, Colace and Franck face charges of robbery, residential burglary, auto theft, false imprisonment, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon.

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