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[ISP] Good Samaritans Help Catch Thieves
Start Date: 4/15/2012
End Date: 4/15/2012
Entry Description

Michigan City, Laporte County-Indiana State Police and other local police agencies responded, this morning, to a call from a pair of Good Samaritans who witnessed an alleged theft and were following the suspect vehicle.

Preliminary investigation revealed that, at approximately 10:04 am, this morning, Sunday, April 15th, a husband and wife from Long Beach, Indiana while driving past the Harbor Car Dealership on US 421 and 300 North in Michigan City when they saw men remove tires from two pick-ups.  They watched them used bolt cutters to cut the spare tires from underneath their holding area on the pick-ups.  The men loaded the tires into a 2011 Ford rental van and left.  The couple followed the van as it went west bound on I-94 from US 421 and relayed this information to an Indiana State Police Communications dispatcher. 

The dispatcher called surrounding police agencies with this information.  The couple followed the van as it continued west on I-94 where Porter Police Department spotted it as it passed State Road 49.  The van exited off at the Portage exit (State Road 249) but then reentered back onto west bound I-94 where Burns Harbor, Ogden Dunes and Portage Police Departments observed the van.   The driver of the van refused to stop.

When the van passed under I-65 it turned around and drove the wrong way on the I-65 north bound to I-80 west bound ramp trying to evade the officers.  The van driver lost control on the ramp, went off the road, and ht the concrete bridge support.  The driver identified as, Chauncey M. Ali, 43 of Chicago, Illinois, was taken into custody at the scene.  Two passenger fled; Cleo Summers, 46 of Chicago, was caught after a short foot pursuit.  The second passenger, Linza Davis Junior, 56 of Chicago, was apprehended a short time later when a Gary Police canine officer tracked him to an abandon house.

A Porter Police officer was taken to Porter Hospital in Portage by ambulance with a leg injury from the foot pursuit.

The van sustained approximately $6,000 in damage.  It was also loaded with numerous (15-20) new and used rimmed tires.

All three men were taken to Porter County Jail by Porter Police Department and charged with Resisting Law Enforcement and Possession of Stolen Property these are Class D Felonies.

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Lionel Douglas investigated the crash.  Master Trooper Dave Miller is investigating the tire theft in Michigan City.  Charges are pending in LaPorte County on all three men for Theft of Auto Parts, Class D Felony.

It is not clear how and where the additional tires may have been obtained. Trooper Miller is asking any new or used car dealership who may have had a theft of tire/s this weekend to please call the Indiana State Police at 219-696-6242 with information.

Agencies assisting:  Porter, Burns Harbor, Ogden Dunes, Portage, Hobart and Gary Police Departments.

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Location Information:
LaPorte County
Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Ann Wojas
Phone: (219) 690-0029
Email: awojas@isp.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Law & Justice
  • Public Safety
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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