A 23-year-old St. Louis woman has been charged with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, a class 4 felony.
Chiffon D. Blanchard, of 1524 Fathom Drive in St. Louis, attempted to elude a police officer at St. Clair Square mall in Fairview Heights and caused a head-on traffic crash, according to police.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a Fairview Heights police officer was patrolling the mall lot when he observed a vehicle he found to be suspicious traveling up and down the parking rows. The officer noted the vehicle had tinted windows and had passed several vacant parking spaces without parking. The officer completed a license plate check on the vehicle. The car had Illinois license plates; however, they belonged on another vehicle, police said.
Once the officer was able to get behind the vehicle it made a turn into a parking space and stopped. The officer activated his emergency lights to signal the driver he was making contact with them; however, as the officer approached the car on foot the driver drove away from him, attempting to flee.
Police said the suspect vehicle accelerated rapidly onto the road that goes around the mall property with no regard for traffic. The suspect vehicle entered oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with another vehicle. No one was seriously injured in the crash.
All four of the occupants of the suspect vehicle were taken into custody. Inside the vehicle, officers located numerous clothing items still with the sensor tags on them as well as shopping bags with homemade theft detection shielding devices inside.
The passengers of the Blanchard vehicle were released from custody without charges.
Blanchard is being held in St. Clair County Jail on $15,000 bail. If convicted, Blanchard faces one to three years in prison.