A police chase Saturday that began in the metro-east and reached speeds of 110 miles per hour ended in Montgomery County with seven subjects taken into police custody.
According to the Illinois State Police, the chase was spawned by a report of a theft and shots fired at Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis. A 911 caller reported that shots were being fired from two vehicles believed to be involved in a theft at the shopping center.
According to Frontenac Police Chief Tom Becker, the suspects allegedly smashed glass display cases at Saks Fifth Avenue and stole purses before fleeing.
According to the state police statement, one of those vehicles was spotted headed north on I-55 in Maryville at 10:30 a.m. A Maryville Police officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not stop.
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The ensuing chase involving Illinois State Police troopers, officers from Maryville, Hamel, Litchfield and Taylor Springs and sheriff’s deputies from Macoupin and Montomgery counties continued about 50 miles. Emergency radio transmissions broadcast during the chase indicated the chase reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour as pursuing officers attempted to get other police units in place ahead of the chase to deploy stop sticks.
The vehicle struck stop sticks near Mt. Olive, but the chase continued. The driver exited I-55 a few miles further on, taking a brief detour through Litchfield before returning to the interstate.
At 11:10 a.m. just south of Farmersville, the vehicle stopped in the center median. Seven people inside all ran off on foot. According to the statement, all seven were quickly apprehended by police.