The California Department of Motor Vehicles office in San Ysidro sustained "considerable" damage to equipment and the building after someone broke in to the office early Wednesday.
Officers carrying non-lethal weapons surrounded the building on Business Center Court just after 5 a.m. The location, considered one of the busiest DMV locations in the state, is less than five miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
When law enforcement officers first arrived, glass in the front door was shattered and the security alarm was activated.
San Diego California Highway Patrol Officer Armando Casas said units observed a suspect inside the office, there was movement so they secured the building.
The man was spraying a fire extinguisher in the direction of the officers, Casas said.
Officers set up a perimeter and armed themselves with non-lethal weapons.
“Because we had time on our side we were able to prepare for not only non-lethal force but less deadly source,” Casas said. “It’s not a split-second decision so we have time to prep for a better outcome.”
Approximately 30 minutes later, officers were about to enter and the suspect opened the rear door and the officers were able to take him into custody at that time.
There was no use of force, Casas said.
No one was injured and the building was cleared.
One employee went inside with CHP officers to identify any items that may have been moved, damaged or missing.
CHP will conduct the investigation since it is a state building.
The DMV released the following statement:
"The San Ysidro DMV field office remains closed to the public. However, the only two services being offered outside the building include drive tests for customers that had appointments. (Drive tests require appointments). The second service is vehicle verifications. Otherwise, the office remains closed to the public while CHP and DMV investigators assess the situation. DMV staff has been deployed to nearby DMV offices in Chula Vista and San Diego Clairemont."
Approximately 20 units of various law enforcement agencies responded to the call.
The DMV office is located north of Interstate 905 and east of Interstate 805. It's less than two miles east of several schools.