Local News

Two arrested after chase on three Wake County highways

Posted January 15, 2010
Updated January 16, 2010

— Raleigh police said that two men arrested after a 30-minute chase across Wake County Friday evening were driving a stolen van, one man was listed as a parole absconder, and the other faced outstanding charges.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the pursuit started after an officer tried to pull over a white 2007 Econoline van for a license plate violation on Hammond Road south of Interstate 40.

Police arrest man after pursuit in Wake County Suspect in police chase surrenders

Police said that a passenger, John Thomas Jr., 49, pushed the driver, Charles Edward Lamb, 29, out of the vehicle, then jumped into driver's seat and took off. Officers followed the vehicle and called for backup.

Thomas proceeded onto Interstate 40 East then to Interstate 440 and the U.S. Highway 264 Bypass before taking the New Hope Road exit, Sughrue said. Thomas soon got back onto I-440 and took the ramp to the Outer Beltline. The van stayed on the Outer Beltline and exited by going to the wrong way on the freeway entrance ramp to reach Lake Boone Trail.

Thomas eventually made his way onto the Wade Avenue Extension entrance ramp and headed west onto I-40, which it followed until exiting onto Interstate 540 East, Sughrue said.

The driver exited at Creedmoor Road, where police deployed stop sticks, which deflated some of the van's tires. Sughrue said that after traveling a short distance on Creedmoor, Thomas stopped the van in a median and surrendered to police.

Police said the van had been reported stolen from the 6800 block of Davis Circle on Dec. 19.

Thomas, of 8424 Creedmoor Road, was charged with assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, possession of stolen of stolen property, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a concealed weapon, felony speeding to elude arrest, driving with a revoked license and operating a vehicle with a fictitious registration.

At some point during the chase, Thomas used the van to ram a state Highway Patrol cruiser, leading to the assault charge, troopers said. The trooper was not hurt.

Lamb, also of 8424 Creedmoor Road, was charged with failure to appear in court, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony larceny, misdemeanor larceny, attempted larceny, obtaining property under false pretense and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both suspects were being held in the Wake County Jail Saturday morning and had a first court appearance set for Tuesday. Thomas had a $52,500 bond, and Lamb had a $72,000 bond.

Thomas is listed as an absconder from probation, according to state Department of Correction records. Thomas was convicted in August 2009 of obtaining property by false pretenses and put on probation.


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  • lizard Jan 15, 2010

    Whatthehey -

    SHP came by me during the chase to get to it. It was exciting. Better than 3-D theatre. My family was with me and you know what? They were entertained too. My daughter wanted me to join in. We didn't feel the least bit threatened by the PD presence because I GOT OUT OF THEIR WAY! A word to the wise.

  • Whatthehey Jan 15, 2010

    So far the only crime we know for sure that he committed before the police gave chase was auto theft. 1.1 million cars are stolen each year, that's one every 25 seconds. RPD and SHP decided that chasing this loser was worth risking my family's and friends' lives and causing massive traffic tie ups, that probably led to at least some fender benders. They could have used the helicopter to track him and have officers waiting for him where it was safe to take him out. It's time for the so-called NC Dept. of Public "Safety" to stop chases except for clear and present danger, and to REQUIRE all cars to be equipped with OnStar type technology that allows law enforcement to remotely bring targeted cars to a safe stop. Public "Safety" Director needs to advocate for making fleeing from a LEO a more serious offense than whatever crime they're trying to avoid getting caught for. Lock 'em up for 10 years. I'm very pro-law - just anti-unnessary endangerment of innocents.

  • Southern Girl Jan 15, 2010

    What you want to be he is as illegal as can be. Wait and see.

  • Winthro Jan 15, 2010

    Good job boys. Run 'em 'till the wheels fall off.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Jan 15, 2010

    watched it on ABC. Police did a GREAT job. It was low speed for the last part of the chase, police were very careful. Could not believe the moron in the jeep that merged onto 540 and almost hit the van while the cops were all behind him. End was funny. He stopped and opened the door like he was going to run...and out steps a 300 lb. man.

    Police did a great job. Why 30 cops? Because they didn't know what was going on in the van.

  • go po-po Jan 15, 2010

    what a dumb question. it took 30 cops because he wouldnt stop for 29 of them. duh!!!!!

  • go po-po Jan 15, 2010

    Mileage. just give it some time. There will be plenty of people in here who know it all and will explain that the police could have caused an accident and not the suspect. They will also explain why all cops are bad and dont know what they are doing. when in reality these people dont know squat.

  • dazrite Jan 15, 2010

    16 Highway Patrol Vehicles, 2 Helicopters...
    I don't think I would stop either!

  • doobedobedoodoo Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for keeping us safe, RPD.

  • westral Jan 15, 2010

    why did it take 30 cops to stop him?