Calhoun County, MI – A crime victim’s family member jumped into a police chase on Saturday and helped a Michigan state trooper catch up with fleeing suspects.
The incident began at about 1:30 p.m. on April 24 when Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers responded to a breaking and entering call in the 22000-block of O Drive North in Lee Township, according to a press release from MSP.
Shortly after the troopers left the property, the suspects returned and were confronted by the homeowners.
The suspects fled and a family member of one of the victims got into his own truck and followed the thieves, calling their location in to police dispatchers, according to MSP Trooper Erik Gantert.
Trooper Gantert told The Police Tribune that the man followed the suspect’s silver pickup truck from a distance until troopers intercepted them.
Troopers caught up with the suspect’s vehicle on Interstate 94 and tried to stop it, according to the MSP press release.
The suspects refused to stop, so Trooper Gantert pursued the pickup truck.
He told The Police Tribune that troopers chasing the suspects knew the driver had a parole absconder warrant.
MSP said the suspects skipped a stop sign, lost control of the truck, and crashed into a ditch.
The suspects jumped out of their truck and fled into a muddy field.
Trooper Gantert chased the suspects on foot across the field for about 200 yards when he saw the family member who had followed the suspect’s driving his truck into the field.
He said the truck pulled up next to him and the driver asked him if he wanted a ride.
“I didn’t know who the guy was and I didn’t ask him for help,” Trooper Gantert told The Police Tribune, but he jumped into the back of the truck bed and they chased the suspects another 50 yards and quickly caught up with them.
Trooper Gantert took both suspects into custody without incident, according to MSP.
MSP said it turned out that the silver pickup truck the suspects had wrecked had been reported stolen in Eaton County.
Trooper Gantert said that he and his partner “got full confessions from the suspects on a multi-county and multijurisdictional crime spree they had done over the course of one day and one night.”
“They confessed to breaking and enterings, larceny of property, vehicle theft, and arson of a vehicle that they had used in an earlier crime,” he told The Police Tribune.
The 23-year-old driver was arrested and booked into Calhoun County jail on charges of breaking and entering, receiving and concealing stolen property, resisting and obstructing a police officer, and a parole violation, according to MSP.
The 18-year-old passenger was arrested and booked on breaking and entering, receiving and concealing stolen property, and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
MSP was assisted at the scene by Albion police officer.