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Police chase leads to arrests

August 6, 2018

Two Philadelphia men face multiple charges after police said they shoplifted, fled the scene and led police on a chase.

About 7:06 p.m., Aug. 5, Delaware State Police received a description of an orange Chevrolet Cobalt with Pennsylvania registration used by two suspected shoplifters to flee the Rehoboth area.

A trooper saw the suspect vehicle traveling north on Route 1 south of Milton, and initiated a traffic stop on the highway's northbound shoulder. Before the trooper could contact the driver, the Cobalt accelerated and entered the right travel lane of Route 1. The trooper pursued.

The Cobalt continued northbound on the shoulder of Route 1 through the intersection at Route 16, when it ran onto a traffic island and collided with an electric box.

After striking the box, the Cobalt continued traveling north until its front end collided into the left side of a Mazda CX-5 traveling east in the right turn lane of Route 16, leading to northbound Route 1. After colliding with the CX-5, the Cobalt continued north on Coastal Highway and collided with the right rear of a Ford Windstar traveling in the right lane.

After this impact, the Cobalt exited the edge of Route 1 and collided with a mailbox before coming to a stop on the northbound shoulder. The suspects exited the Cobalt and fled the scene on foot. Police pursued, and took both suspects into custody.

The driver of the Cobalt, Tajah L. Brooks, 23, and his passenger, Nafese A. Pierce, 22, both of Philadelphia, were taken by ambulance to Beebe Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The operator of the CX-5, a 56-year-old woman and her 13-year-old passenger of Philadelphia were properly restrained and taken to Beebe Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The operator of the Ford Windstar, a 41-year-old man of Philadelphia and his five passengers, ranging from ages 2 to 39, were all properly restrained and uninjured.

Tajah L. Brooks was charged with two counts of felony shoplifting, eight counts of reckless endangering, vehicular assault, resisting arrest, disregarding a police officer, aggressive driving, reckless driving and multiple traffic-related offenses. He was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $18,426 cash-only bond.

Nafese A. Pierce was charged with felony possession of shoplifters tools, felony shoplifting, second-degree conspiracy and resisting arrest. He was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $7,000 secured bond.

A search of the vehicle yielded stolen merchandise from J. Crew, CVS, Kmart, Nike, Vans, Zumiez, Express, Forever 21 and Clarks.

Northbound Route 1 at Route 16 was rendered to one lane for approximately 2.5 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.