Two arrests follow shoplifting pursuit

Tajah L. Brooks

MILTON — Two men were arrested after authorities alleged that they shoplifted, fled the scene, and led police on a chase.

According to Delaware State Police, the alleged incident occurred on Sunday at approximately 7:06 p.m. when troopers were provided with a description of a vehicle, an orange-colored Chevrolet Cobalt with Pennsylvania registration, in which two suspects recently shoplifted in the Rehoboth Beach area and fled the scene.

Police said a trooper witnessed the suspect vehicle traveling northbound on Coastal Highway (Del. 1) south of Milton, and a traffic stop was initiated on the northbound shoulder of Del. 1. Before the trooper was able to make contact with the driver, police said, the Cobalt accelerated and entered back into the right travel lane of Del. 1, and a pursuit ensued.

Nafese A. Pierce

The Colbalt continued to travel northbound on the shoulder of Del. 1 and proceeded through the intersection at Broadkill Road (Del. 16), when it ran up onto a traffic island where it collided with an electric box, police said. After striking the box, the Colbalt continued traveling northbound until its front end collided with the left side of a Mazda CX-5, which was traveling in the right turn lane of SR16 leading to northbound Del. 1, police said.

After colliding with the CX-5, the Colbalt continued northbound on Del. 1 and collided with the right rear of a Ford Windstar, that was traveling in the right lane, police said. After the second impact, the Colbalt exited the edge of Del. 1 and collided with a mailbox before coming to a final rest on the shoulder of northbound Del. 1, police said.

The suspects exited the Colbalt and fled the scene on foot, police said. A brief foot pursuit ensued, and subsequently both suspects were taken into custody.

The driver of the Colbalt, identified as 23-year-old Tajah L. Brooks and his passenger, 22-year-old Nafese A. Pierce both of Philadelphia, were transported by ambulance to the Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The driver of the CX-5, a 56-year-old female and her 13-year-old passenger of Philadelphia, were properly restrained and transported to the Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Ford Windstar, a 41-year-old male of Philadelphia, and his five passengers, ranging from ages 2 to 39 were all properly restrained and uninjured.

Mr. Brooks was charged with two counts of felony shoplifting, eight counts of reckless endangering, vehicular assault, resisting arrest, disregard a police officer signal, aggressive driving, reckless driving and multiple traffic-related offenses, police said. He was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $18,426 cash only bond.

Mr. Pierce was charged with felony possession of shoplifters tools, felony shoplifting, second-degree conspiracy and resisting arrest. He was arraigned before JP Court 3 and committed to SCI on $7,000 secured bond.

Police said a vehicle search yielded stolen merchandise from stores including J. Crew, CVS, Kmart, Nike, Vans, Zumiez, Express, Forever 21 and Clarks.

Northbound Del. 1 at Del 16 was rendered to one lane for approximately 2 1/2 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

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