Suspects Charged In Wild Camden-Philly Police Chase Involving Stolen Cop Cars
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The suspects in a wild police chase involving two stolen police cars have been identified.
The suspects have been identified by police as 23-year-old Shayna Sykes and 24-year-old Blake Bills.
The incident reportedly began at about 9:50 a.m. Tuesday when Camden Police Officer Sekou Reid-Bey, 49, stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation at Haddon Avenue and Federal Street in Camden.
According to investigators, Sykes and Bills, who were not connected to the traffic stop, inexplicably jumped into the officer’s stopped police car and sped off. While speeding away, the suspects are accused of intentionally driving into Reid-Bey with the stolen cruiser as he walked toward it. He may have suffered a fractured leg and is being treated at Cooper Hospital, where he is in stable condition.
The suspects then drove the stolen cop car across the Ben Franklin Bridge and onto the streets of Philadelphia.
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The stolen police car was then pursued by Philadelphia police officers and was eventually stopped at 7th and Norris Streets. Police say Bills, of Macungie, Pa., was injured and was taken into custody. At some point, Sykes was once again somehow able to get inside a Philadelphia police cruiser and speed off.
She led police on a wild chase through the streets of North Philadelphia. During the pursuit, the car nearly struck a pedestrian near Kensington Avenue and American Street, but she jumped out of the way. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to her head.
While leading police on the wild chase, Sykes struck several parked cars and a box truck that was on the road. The cruiser also went onto numerous sidewalks and narrowly missed a handful of utility poles.
The cruiser eventually came to a stop at 1100 N. Hope Street where Sykes, also of Macungie, got out and attempted to run away on foot, but she was quickly taken into police custody.
Philadelphia police held a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, where they confirmed that Sykes and Bills have a 7-month-old child together and that the grandmother of one of them had reported the pair missing. Police also said drug use is suspected, and that the two will face a variety of charges including resisting arrest, DUI and risking catastrophe.
Additionally, both Sykes and Bill have long criminal records.
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Pennsylvania court documents show Bills has an active case out of Lehigh County and is facing the following charges related to it: burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property. He is due in court for a pre-trial hearing in that case on April 12, 2013. Bills’ license is also suspended indefinitely in the state of NJ, and he has had five suspensions total there, including three in 2013.
Likewise, documents show Sykes served time in prison in 2009 for three DUIs in Lehigh County.
“This was clearly a very volatile situation,” Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said. “A lot of people could have gotten hurt.”
Philadelphia police announced charges for the couple Wednesday.
Blake Bills was charged with attempted murder, carjacking, eluding and second degree aggravated assault and 4th degree assault by auto. He was arraigned and held on $300,000 bail. Shayna Sykes was charged with third degree conspiracy to commit theft of a car and fourth degree joyriding. They are both being held in Pennsylvania.
The suspects are also being investigated for three other incidents.
The first incident occurred when a Camden police officer says he saw the couple trying to buy drugs on Sunday around 1:20 p.m. near 3rd and Erie Streets. Police say the officer attempted to stop their Mazda, but after the suspects fled on I-676 the officer’s car flipped while trying to make a sharp turn. The officer was taken to the hospital and later released.
On Tuesday around 2 a.m., Camden police say an officer observed the couple in a disabled vehicle on 4th and State Streets in Camden and approached them, asking if they needed help. The officer left to respond to a call but told the couple he would return, says police. Upon his return, the officer found that the car had been abandoned, so he ran the plates and discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen from Philadelphia.
Later that day, around 9:30 a.m., the couple attempted to steal a woman’s car at 3rd and Market but could not get inside because the vehicle was locked.
In connection to these three incidents, both suspects were charged by Camden police with loitering to obtain a controlled dangerous substance, third degree receiving stolen property, third degree criminal attempted auto theft and third degree conspiracy to commit theft. Bills was also charged with second degree eluding.
Bail has been set for Bills at $500,000 and for Sykes at $342,500 in Camden County.