02/20/19 Dewitt Township, MI -Shoplifting Incident – Three Men – One Man Steals Patrol Car – Drives To Friend’s House And Gets A Gun – Takes The Dewitt Patrol Car And Crashes Into Tree – Injured After Long Chase
Police say three people drove off after stealing a TV from Meijer, one jumped out of the vehicle and shortly after stole a DeWitt Police patrol car and then crashed it into an embankment.
DeWitt Township Chief of Police Mike Gute says officials were patrolling the Meijer grocery store in DeWitt Township on Wednesday when three men were caught stealing from the store.
DeWitt Township officers told News 10 that they saw a man running out of Meijer with a TV.
He was seen tossing the TV into the car and taking off, heading south on Turner Road.
That’s when the car stopped and one man jumped out of the “getaway” car and took off on foot.
Police called in back up and the DeWitt city police joined in the pursuit.
The getaway car crossed into Lansing and at some point DeWitt Township discontinued the chase.
That vehicle was found at a home in Lansing. The 22-year-old driver was arrested.
The suspect on foot was located on Turner Road by a City of DeWitt officer, and somehow managed to get control of the City of Dewitt patrol car. The man eventually crashed the car into a tree.
“It’s just a set of circumstances that happens. A struggle ensued and things happen, and it’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances,” said Chief Gute.
A witness from the crash says the man drove the stolen car to his friend’s house on Edison Avenue around 1:00 a.m in Lansing and walked inside.
“I get a call from my brother’s fiance saying that the gentleman had run up in the house here, stole his gun from under his pillow, and stole a cop car and the cops were chasing him down to the end of his road,” said the witness.
After taking a gun from under his friend’s pillow, the man went back outside and tried to drive away from police, in the stolen patrol car.
The suspect and the stolen vehicle were tracked to a dead end street on Edison Avenue in Lansing.
That’s where the patrol car was found, crashed into an embankment near railroad tracks.
The suspect would not leave the vehicle and had to be tased by the police.
After, police and emergency personnel got the suspect out of the stolen police car and helped him into the ambulance.
He had visual cuts on his face, and pants around his ankles.
He was taken to McLaren for his injuries.
The witness did say he knew the man and tried calling the “non-emergency number” to report what had happened.
The witness says the man seemed to be under the influence of a drug.
There is no word yet of how the man was able to steal the vehicle.
The driver of the original vehicle and the driver of the stolen vehicle are now in Clinton County jail.
The passenger in the original car was let go and is not being considered a suspect.
One of the suspects was arraigned Wednesday in Clinton County District Court.
26-year-old Joshua Michael Lauer has been charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Fleeing Force, and Driving While License Suspended.