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Shoplifters Arrested after Theft, Stealing a Police Car, Chase, and Crash

A Lansing, Michigan, man has been charged in connection with an early morning police chase involving a retail fraud and a stolen police cruiser in the DeWitt area. Joshua Michael Lauer, 26, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on one count each of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding, carrying a concealed weapon, and driving on a suspended license, Clinton County District Court officials said. A magistrate set a $100,000 cash bond for Lauer, officials said.

The incident began when a DeWitt Township officer noticed an unreported retail theft at 1 a.m. yesterday at Meijer as he was driving past the store, DeWitt Township police Chief Mike Gute said. As the officer pursued the suspects’ vehicle, one of the people in the vehicle jumped out and fled on foot, Gute said. The DeWitt Township officer continued to pursue the vehicle. City of DeWitt officers assisted and tracked the person on foot. Somehow that suspect stole a DeWitt Police Department vehicle and fled from police in it, Gute said.

DeWitt Township officers, with the help of Lansing Township, Bath Township and Clinton County Sheriff’s Department officers, pursued the stolen police vehicle until the driver crashed into a snow embankment. The driver of that vehicle was not injured. The driver of the initial vehicle was also arrested once DeWitt Township officers caught up to it, Gute said. A second person was expected to be formally charged in connection with the case today.   [Source: Lansing State Journal]

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