Santa Maria Police were searching for the driver of a stolen vehicle who led officers on a pursuit Monday afternoon before they had to stop following for safety reasons.

Officers began following a stolen vehicle about 12:10 p.m. in the 500 block of West Mill Street, according to Sgt. Terry Flaa.

Local schools were put on lockdown as a precautionary measure, and police eventually were forced to terminate the chase after the suspect’s reckless driving was deemed unsafe for the road conditions, Flaa said.

The stolen vehicle was located later, abandoned in the area of Atlantic Place and Railroad Avenue, but a search for the suspect in the immediate area was unsuccessful.

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic male, with a shaved head and goatee, wearing a black and gray-striped pendleton. A female passenger was described as Hispanic with red, curly hair.

Anyone with information as to the identity of the suspect is urged to contact the Santa Maria Police Department at 805.928.3781.   

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.