The drama began at about 4:30 a.m. when Pierce County sheriff's deputies received a call about a burglary in progress at a closed coffee stand in the 13900 block of Pacific Avenue South.
Witnesses saw a man run from the business and deputies quickly located the man's getaway vehicle, a red Acura.
As deputies pursued the car, the suspect accelerated to speeds of more than 70 mph along Pacific Avenue South. After about two miles, the suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a power pole. He was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The pursuing vehicle estimated the speed at 70-plus as he's coming up to the 112th Street," said Pierce County deputy Scott Powers. "He made a quick lane change ... that's what caused him to lose control."
The car was completely mangled in the crash. Several cars in the nearby Titus-Will auto dealership also were damaged in the crash.
All northbound lanes of Pacific Avenue at 112th Street are closed during the investigation.