Local News

Two arrested after chase on three Wake County highways

Posted January 15, 2010 5:55 p.m. EST
Updated January 16, 2010 11:50 a.m. EST

— 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 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.