Police Fire Shots At Smart Car As Suspected Thief Tries To Get Away, Rams Squad Cars In Indiana

Chicago News

HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — The driver of a tiny car caused big problems for police in Indiana this past weekend.

Police say the chase started with a theft.

The driver is now in custody, but as CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Monday night, he didn’t go quietly.

A rental Smart car led police from four departments on a chase through the streets of Northwest Indiana on Sunday.

“He was all over the place, but he was surprisingly fast for a little guy,” said David Tirado.

Tirado recorded cellphone video as the chase inched by.

“I didn’t think they took that many squad cars to take down a Smart car, but yeah, it was very impressive,” he said.

“When I saw the little Smart car and he was flying,” said Carol Feller, who saw the whole thing too. “What did he do?”

The 30-year old Smart car driver from Chicago stands accused of some not so smart crimes.

It started around 1 p.m. Sunday at the Southlake Mall in Hobart. Police say the driver stole four phones from the T-Mobile store there.

On Monday night, those display cases were empty.

Police say he then he hopped in the Car2Go rental Smart car and took off. Witnesses told police the driver was possibly armed, but no gun was ever seen or found.

The chase moved to the expressway and into nearby Griffith, Indiana.

Tire deflating stop sticks were laid out, but the two-seater avoided them.

The Smart car driver then intentionally smashed into two Hobart squad cars, pinning and injuring another officer in the process.

The Smart car was finally tracked down to an industrial park, where police say a Griffith officer in fear for his and the public’s safety fired once into the door.

Nobody was hit.

“Don’t laugh at those Smart cars, man – they’re fast,” Feller said.

The Griffith Police Department will do a policy review into their role in the chase and the officer who shot into the car.

The Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor’s office could file charges against the 30-year-old driver as soon as Tuesday.

A woman in the passenger seat was interviewed and later released. The four stolen phones were recovered.

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