Man in stolen van surrenders after police chase

January 15, 2010 8:43:17 PM PST
A man driving a stolen white 2007 Ford Econoline van led police on a chase through Raleigh Friday evening.Raleigh Police spokesperson Jim Sughrue says the incident started after the driver refused to stop for a license plate violation on Hammond Road.

When the van did not stop, police say they did not start to chase the driver, but called for backup.

Authorities say the van then traveled to I-440, then took the New Hope Road exit, crossed New Bern Avenue and made his way to Trawick Road.

From there the van drove to Capital Boulevard, where a Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop it.

The van again refused to stop and drove until it reached I-440 taking the outer loop. The driver stayed on the highway until he exited the wrong way on the freeway entrance ramp to reach Lake Boone Trail, crossing Blue Ridge Road.

Police say after the driver made a few quick turns, the van returned to Blue Ridge Road and drove to the Wade Avenue Extension entrance ramp.

The van went to the end of the extension and onto I-40, which it followed until exiting on I-540. The van later exited on Creedmoor Road.

Just before the van turned onto Creedmoor Road, a Highway Patrol trooper threw a tire deflation device in front of the van, causing some of the tires to deflate.

After driving a short distance, the driver pulled onto a concrete median and surrendered to police.

The driver, 49-year-old John Thomas, was taken into custody.

Police say the van he was driving was reported stolen on Dec. 19.

Authorities have charged Thomas with possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a concealed weapon, driving while license revoked and operating a vehicle with factious registration. Additional charges are expected to be filed by the Highway Patrol.

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