Police nab three with civilian help

***UPDATE: See below ***


Pennsylvania State Police from Troop K, Media barracks — with the assistance of a Birmingham Township woman — arrested three people in Chadds Ford Township following a break-in in Concord Township.

The suspects — whose identities have not yet been released — were arrested in the vicinity of Creek Road, Station Way Road and Route 1 in Chadds Ford. Police were still gathering information at press time and have not yet issued a formal report to the media, but said the trio might have also been involved in break-ins in other townships.

Birmingham’s Dana Loundas was driving south on Creek Road about 8:30 this morning when traffic stopped in front of her. Police had blocked traffic from reaching Route 1. She said she was the last car in line when she saw a vehicle “barreling down Creek Road” behind her.

The car swerved several times before, according to another witness, a police SUV bumped the vehicle, which in turn hit a tree near Hank’s Place. Loundas said she heard the crash, saw the tree fall, and then saw three people emerge from the suspects’ car and run toward Brandywine Prime.

Cars in front of her began making U-turns, and Loundas followed suit. When she turned, however, she said a state trooper on foot motioned to her to open her passenger door.

The trooper pointed to a fleeing suspect who was heading north on Creek Road.

“He jumped in and said, ‘I have to get that guy.’ So I floored it…My heart was jumping out of my chest,” Loundas said.

She said they pursued in her car for about 200 yards when they saw the suspect climbing a fence at a property on the right side of the road. The trooper alighted from Loundas’ car, called for backup, and apprehended the suspect.

A second suspect was apprehended on Station Way Road and was Tased even after surrendering, according to a witness.

Dan Leader, of Leader Sunoco, said he and an employee saw the suspect calmly walk across Route 1 from the vicinity of the Chadds Ford Gallery, then walk behind the Post Office toward Station Way Road. As the suspect reached Station Way, Leader said he pointed him out to police, who apprehended him. However, the suspect, while fatigued, was not in a mood to cooperate and was Tased even after being handcuffed.

“He was still struggling and mouthing off,” Leader said. “He needed to be brought under control.”

There was no immediate word on how or where the third suspect was apprehended.

ChaddsFordLive will update this story as details become available.

UPDATE: State police are now saying there were only two suspects. One has been identified as a juvenile and the other as 22-year-old Joel Stokes. Both are from Fort  Lauderdale, Fla.

According to the official press release, police had been alerted to a series of thefts from vehicles in daycare parking lots. A suspicious vehicle was seen at Kinder Care Daycare on Brinton Lake Road in Concord Township about 8 a.m. on April 6. The occupants of the suspicious vehicle noticed troopers and began to flee. Troopers pursued, resulting in the arrests in Chadds Ford. The suspects are charged with fleeing and eluding, recklessly endangering, and theft.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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