Tips to avoid being carjacked and what to do if it happens to you
In a wild scene that ended after a brief pursuit, four car thieves were captured by police from multiple agencies after they fled in a stolen vehicle early Monday morning following an attempted car burglary at a local motel, police said.
One suspect was captured at the scene. The other three were caught after they fled from Caseyville and drove into a dragnet that had been set up on Interstate 64. None of the suspects have been identified.
Police also found a stolen gun, an extended clip and a drum containing lots of ammunition in the car.
Caseyville police cars responded to a car burglary in progress at Motel 6 about 1:15 a.m., Caseyville Police Chief Tom Coppotelli said.
“When both officers arrived on scene, they saw the suspect vehicle about to leave the scene. There were four people inside of the car,” he said.
The suspects fled the hotel parking lot, ramming the police cruiser from behind and escaping onto Illinois 157 and I-64. One of the passengers either jumped or fell out of the vehicle, which had been reported stolen in Missouri, and was seen discarding an object, Coppotelli said. That person was taken into custody and a gun was recovered.
Two Caseyville police cars were damaged, but there were no injuries, Coppotelli said.
“They saw the police officers as they pulled right in front of them on the Motel 6 parking lot. They tried to back up. They did a lot of damage to their car,” Coppotelli said. “The driver went around to the backside of the hotel. They rear-ended our car on purpose. They were able to get out of the parking lot and onto 157. The passenger jumped out or fell out of the moving vehicle and discarded something. It turned out to be a firearm.”
The stolen vehicle continued onto I-64 where police from Washington Park, Illinois State Police and other agencies stopped it.
Washington Park police picked up the stolen vehicle on I-64 West at I-255, after the Caseyville police car, which was badly damaged, couldn’t pursue the suspects’ car any further, Washington Park Police Chief Allen Bonds said.
“We spotted the vehicle that Caseyville was pursuing in connection with the Motel 6 burglary. We ended up pursuing the vehicle. My officers were in the second vehicle behind Caseyville and because of the damage to the Caseyville car, we ended up being the lead car pursuing the suspects,” Bonds said.
When Washington Park picked up the fleeing vehicle, there were three people in it, Bonds said.
“We followed the car and my officer pulled along side of the vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to pull over. The driver swerved his vehicle and was going to hit our car so my officer swerved away and struck a metal cable on the interstate, damaging the car. The driver of the car continued on the interstate,” Bonds said.
The driver of the vehicle ended up crashing his vehicle.
“Both air bags deployed, two tires on the vehicle were flat. The people in the car ended up bailing out. My officers chased them over the intestate. At Interstate 255, the driver ran into the grassy area. East St. Louis police, Centerville police and Illinois State Police set up a perimeter and located the guy in the grassy area,” Bonds said.
Everyone in the vehicle fled in different directions when the car pulled over after the car tires were flattened. They were quickly captured, Bonds said.
“We found a large drum that contained a large amount of ammunition in the back of the vehicle, too,” Bonds said.
The driver had a warrant for his arrest from Missouri and another individual in the vehicle had several warrants from Missouri out on him, Bonds said.
All four are being held by police. None have been identified, pending charges.