Colo. police bust auto theft ring after high-speed chase
By Mike McPhee
DENVER — A police chase early Thursday reached speeds of 105 mph across major highways and roads in central and eastern Denver, with suspects ramming an undercover officer's truck before crashing in Adams County.
Abandoning their two vehicles, the suspects led police on a foot chase through fields near Interstate 270 and York Street before five of them were captured. Two others remain at large and are considered armed and dangerous.
Later in the day, police arrested two juveniles suspected of being accomplices. Police said they believe the nine people are part of a large auto-theft ring.
Police radio chatter was recorded on ScanDenver.net and released publicly Thursday afternoon.
The chase began just after 2 a.m., when suspected members of an auto-theft ring spotted an undercover surveillance officer videotaping them at a gas station at West 50th Avenue and Federal Boulevard.
Two suspects, in a stolen silver Dodge pickup, drove right at the undercover officer, who fled in his black Dodge Ram pickup onto eastbound Interstate 70. He immediately radioed for help.
"Get 'em over here," the undercover officer, identified only as Joe, radioed at 2:02 a.m.
About 10 seconds later, he radioed: "I'm going 105."
Another officer interrupted: "OK, Joe, can you get off on southbound 25?"
"I don't care, I just need some cops here. …
"All right, I just hit the brakes. I'm going to be southbound on I-25. I need cover Code 10 (with emergency lights and sirens). … These guys are armed and dangerous."
A number of patrol cars set up at points on Interstate 25.
Somewhere between West Colfax and West Eighth avenues on I-25, the suspects rammed the officer's pickup several times.
At this point, a supervisor radioed that a chase was authorized because the suspects had rammed the officer.
Patrol cars with sirens blaring and lights flashing joined in.
It was unclear what happened to the undercover officer from this point.
Several times, the suspects drove the wrong way - on East 13th and later on Colorado. Officers chasing them reported speeds of 90 and 95 mph.
Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the suspects apparently called friends and asked them to help by crashing into the police cars. A second suspect car entered the chase, a green Lincoln Continental.
Both the Lincoln and the Dodge pickup eventually crashed in front of a home at 6580 York St.
Seven suspects fled, and five eventually were captured with the help of K-9 dogs, a helicopter and the Commerce City Police Department.
No names have been released as police continue their investigation.
Copyright 2007 The Denver Post
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