Milton- The Delaware State Police have arrested two suspects after they shoplifted, fled the scene, and led police on a chase, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe.
Jaffe said the incident occurred on Sunday, August 5, 2018, at approximately 7:06 p.m. when Troopers were provided with a description of a vehicle, an orange-colored Chevrolet Cobalt with PA registration, in which two suspects recently shoplifted in the Rehoboth Beach area and fled the scene.
A Trooper witnessed the suspect vehicle traveling northbound on Coastal Highway (SR1) south of Milton, and a traffic stop was initiated on the northbound shoulder of SR1. Before the Trooper was able to make contact with the driver, the Cobalt accelerated and entered back into the right travel lane of SR1, and a pursuit ensued.
The Colbalt continued to travel northbound on the shoulder of SR1 and proceeded through the intersection at Broadkill Road (SR16), when it ran up onto a traffic island where it collided with an electric box. 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 SR1. After colliding with the Cx-5, the Colbalt continued northbound on SR1 and collided with the right rear of a Ford Windstar, that was traveling in the right lane, according to Jaffe. After the second impact, the Colbalt exited the edge of SR1 and collided with a mailbox before coming to a final rest on the shoulder of northbound SR1. The suspects exited the Colbalt and fled the scene on foot. 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, PA, were transported by ambulance to the Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
The operator of the CX-5, a 56-year-old female and her 13-year-old passenger of Philadelphia, PA were properly restrained and transported to the Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
The operator of the Ford Windstar, a 41-year-old male of Philadelphia, PA, and his five passengers, ranging from ages 2-39 were all properly restrained and uninjured.
Tajah L. Brooks was charged with the following:
Shoplifting (Felony)-2 counts
Reckless Endangering -8 counts
Disregard a Police Officer
Multiple Traffic Related Offense
Tajah L. Brooks was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $18,426.00 cash only bond.
Nafese A. Pierce was charged with the following:
Possession of Shoplifters Tools (Felony)
Conspiracy Second Degree
Nafese A. Pierce was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $7,000.00 secured bond.
A search of the vehicle yielded stolen merchandise from J. Crew, CVS, Kmart, Nike, Vans, Zumiez, Express, Forever 21, and Clarks according to Jaffe.
Northbound SR1 at SR16 was rendered to one lane for approximately 2.5 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.
The closure made caused a backup into the Lewes area. Beachgoers returning home had to sit in traffic for hours.