A Peabody, Massachusetts, man and a companion from Melrose are facing charges in connection with the theft of wheelchair van from a hospital and shoplifting spree in Saugus. Just before 1 PM Thursday, a wheelchair van stolen about 6:30 that morning from Melrose-Wakefield Hospital was spotted on Route 1 south in Peabody by a woman who was driving in the area and called it in to the State Police’s Danvers barracks.
A short time later, Trooper Martin Cooke spotted the wheelchair van — owned by Armstrong Ambulance — on Lake Street and followed it as it turned onto Route 1 southbound. Cooke activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and attempted to stop the van, but the driver refused and kept driving. A pursuit was authorized, and Cooke chased the stolen van south on Route 1 to Route 129, where it entered the Goodwin Circle rotary and continued east toward Lynn.
The van, which had a flat rear tire at that point, attempted to pass traffic when it struck an unoccupied Ford Explorer parked at the intersection of Route 129 and Regina Road in Lynn and came to a stop. Troopers placed the driver and passenger, both males, under arrest, and transported them to Danvers barracks for booking.
During the subsequent investigation, State Police determined that at approximately 9:20 AM, nearly three hours after one of the men stole the van, both men shoplifted several hundred dollars worth of men’s clothing from Kohl’s department store in Saugus. The merchandise… The Salem News