A group of accused shoplifters had five children in their vehicle as they tried to elude police last week before crashing near York High School in Elmhurst as students were being released from classes, authorities said.
The incident began around 2:45 p.m. Friday at the Shops of Oak Brook when Oak Brook police officers noticed two individuals exit a T.J. Maxx store and place some items in a GMC Acadia, which reportedly left the scene quickly.
Police pulled the vehicle over, but the Acadia fled as officers approached on foot, a news release issued Monday said.
The Acadia led officers on a chase that reached speeds of more than 75 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone. The suspects’ vehicle sideswiped a school bus near York High School as students were being released for the day before it crashed into another car, police said.
Taken into custody were three adults: Russell Miller, 24, of Chicago, the alleged driver; Zhane Ball, 28, of Iowa City; and Xavier Miller, 28, of Chicago.
Police say they also discovered five children inside the Acadia ranging in age from 2 months to 10 years old.
An investigation concluded that Xavier Miller and Ball had gathered shoes, socks and handbags totaling approximately $1,701.87 at T.J. Maxx and left the store without paying for the merchandise, police said.
Each of the adults was charged with burglary, retail theft, aggravated fleeing and eluding police and endangering the health or life of a child. Over the weekend, bond for Russell Miller was set at $350,000; for Ball, $200,000; and for Xavier Miller, $150,000. They are due in court next month.
“This most recent case of fleeing from the police is extremely disturbing as it involves five young children in the vehicle as the driver allegedly fled and ultimately crashed his vehicle,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a prepared statement.
“To make matters worse, the driver allegedly led police on a chase near a school just as students were leaving for the day.”