Metro-East News

Man took work vehicle, led officers on chase before crashing on I-255, police say

A Maryland Heights, Mo., man led officers on a chase in a vehicle he took from a work site Friday afternoon before crashing off Interstate 255, police say.

According to a press release, workers were loading a vehicle with tools around 3:05 p.m. when it was taken from the 400 block of East C Street.

Charles Boedecker, 27, jumped inside the unlocked work vehicle when workers walked away, according to the release. Workers said they were completing a nearby job when they went to retrieve their supplies.

When workers returned, the vehicle, which had the keys inside, was gone. Witnesses said they saw the man drive it away on North Charles Street.

A Belleville officer spotted the vehicle headed westbound on Illinois 161 and tried to pull the driver over. Boedecker continued driving and headed onto St. Clair Avenue and into East St. Louis.

East St. Louis officers deployed a Stop Stick near the I-255 overpass. Boedecker tried to swerve around the Stop Stick and lost control of the vehicle, which went off the road, hit an embankment and landed on its side.

Boedecker continued to resist officers as they placed him under arrest. According to police, he had no visible signs of injury and did not complain of any pain from the crash.

Boedecker was charged with three felonies — stealing a vehicle and two counts of fleeing officers — and resisting a police officer. His bail is set at $75,000.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6