SAN ANTONIO - A suspected car thief is in custody Wednesday morning after San Antonio police said the man jumped into one of their cruisers and took off.

They later caught him after a lengthy chase.

Rarely does SAPD engage in police chases but since the suspect was in a stolen police car and even turned on the lights at one point, police had no other choice.

It happened Wednesday morning when an officer was checking out a suspicious person call in the 100 block of Lorenz Road when he saw the suspect.

The man reportedly dropped a bag and ran into a wooded area then doubled back and took off in the officer's SUV.

He took police on a chase that went on for nearly 40 miles. Police said the man took the police cruiser through their north, east, and northwest service areas.

The suspect was stopped after police put down a spike strip near Huebner Road and Interstate 10. He crashed into the concrete median on I-10 East near USAA.

Then police said the suspect jumped out of the stolen police vehicle, over the concrete median, and ran across the westbound side of traffic into a shopping plaza on the frontage road of I-10.

That's where he wrestled with police before two officers brought him down. The officers sustained minor injuries.

The suspect, who police said has a criminal history, will be charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, and vehicle theft charges to name a few.