HIGHLAND PARK (CBS11) – Police in Highland Park say they ended a crime spree after a neighbor witnessed suspects in action.
She was looking out her window and saw three young men stealing bikes from the porch across the street.
The theft wasn’t the men’s only crime that night either, according to police.
“The caller was still on the line, and the caller was able to tell the dispatcher that the officer on scene was indeed behind the suspect vehicle,” said Lt. Lance Koppa with the Highland Park Police Department.
But the suspects didn’t stop; leading police on a chase with speeds up to 80 miles an hour.
It ended about two miles away on Cedar Springs, when the suspects tried to turn, hit a traffic signal and took off running.
But police were right behind them and arrested all three within a few blocks. Inside their SUV, police found another stolen bicycle, a stolen credit card, ID and gift card.
“We were a part of a trend, so maybe they started at midnight or 1 a.m. and they just started randomly picking streets and looking for property they could easily access,” said Lt. Koppa.
Allen Dickey’s children now have their bikes back after they were swiped from his front porch early Tuesday morning.
“Our kids had ridden bikes the night before and just put them on the porch quickly. We didn’t think anything of it,” Dickey said.
Alan Valdez Varela, 17, Mark Perez, 17 and Jose Miramontes, 19, were charged with theft and evading arrest. While Dickey said he’s surprised anyone would want to steal children’s bikes, he doesn’t want the teenagers to go to jail.
“I feel like they should have an opportunity to learn their lesson and move on,” Dickey said.
Police are investigating to see if the three suspects could be connected to other crimes in the area.
And they said it’s a great reminder – if you see something, say something.
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