Police chase passes through county

Police chase passes through county

Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department was one of several agencies assisting with a police chase on Saturday, Nov. 26,  involving a fleeing vehicle that reportedly fired shots at other vehicles.

According to information released by the Illinois State Police, the incident started that morning at the Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis, Mo., where two vehicles were reportedly involved in a theft at Saks Fifth Avenue department store. Initial 911 calls indicated shots were being fired from the two vehicles.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., one of the vehicles was spotted in Illinois on Interstate 55 near Maryville. A Maryville police officer tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspect vehicle refused to stop and fled.

A pursuit was initiated, and the pursuit continued northbound on I-55. The fleeing vehicle struck spike strips near Mt. Olive, and one of its tires was disabled. The vehicle continued north on I-55 and exited into Litchfield. The pursuit continued through Litchfield for a short time, until the fleeing vehicle again entered I-55 northbound.

At approximately 11:10 a.m., the fleeing vehicle entered the center meridian south of Farmersville and came to a stop. Eight subjects fled from the vehicle on foot, but all were caught and arrested.

The following subjects, all of Chicago, were charged with theft, a Class 2 felony: males Terrence J. Bell (25), Darius O. Bowdry (21), Julian C. Campbell (22), Derrick Crowder (24), Jacob A. Lee (27), Mario Washington (24) and Dejuan D. Winguard (21), and female Keyshyla S. Thomas (22).

All eight subjects, and those who remain at large, are believed to be involved in a theft ring that has struck high-end retail establishments in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The theft ring is believed to be responsible for $1.9 million worth of stolen goods and damages.

In addition to the ISP and Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department, other agencies involved in stopping the vehicle included Hamel Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Maryville Police Department, Litchfield Police Department and Taylor Springs Police Department. “I am proud of all the officers involved in this incident,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “The teamwork of multiple police agencies was integral in apprehending the subjects. The professionalism and dedication exhibited by the officers helped to ensure the safety of innocent motorists and the fleeing subjects.”

This is an ongoing case involving investigations by police agencies from multiple jurisdictions. No further information was available at press time.