FIERY CHASE: Starts With Stolen Tweezers, Ends In Flames
Pleasant Hill Police are investigating an early Friday morning chase that ended with a car fire.
It began when Pleasant Hill Police received a call from the Hy-Vee saying two women were in the store shoplifting pharmaceuticals.
Police said the two women left the store and got into a pickup truck driven by a male.
When police attempted to pull over the vehicle, the driver took off leading police on a chase into Jasper County, through Mitchellville and back onto Interstate 80.
Attempts to slow down the vehicle were unsuccessful.
“Stop sticks were deployed outside of Altoona on I-80 with a successful hit, the vehicle didn`t stop or even bother slowing down,” says Pleasant Hill Police Officer Adam Choat.
Choat said speeds reached between 115-120 miles per hour.
Eventually the driver exited the interstate in Des Moines at NE 14th and headed south to Army Post Road.
When he turned west onto Army Post Road, the truck hit a cement median and started on fire.
“The vehicle still continued at a high rate of speed, became really hot, started to flame up and spark until the vehicle caught fire underneath,” says Officer Choat.
Inside the vehicle authorities found the items that were stolen from Hy-Vee and it wasn’t the pharmaceutical items they thought were stolen.
“The female in the vehicle admitted to stealing tweezers and an eyebrow pencil, the whole thing in the end looking at, could have been resolved very simply,” says Officer Choat.
The two men and two women in the vehicle got out without injury.
The driver, 42-year-old Jerry Pancoast, is facing charges of felony eluding, driving while license suspended, failure to obey traffic control device, and speeding.
Thirty-three-year-old Marie Wright is charged with 5th degree theft.
The truck was impounded and will be searched for possibly more stolen items.
The case remains under investigation.