Police arrest female driver after I-70 chase, crash

Cops say suspect ran into building, pulled alarm

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Lakewood Police and the Colorado State Patrol have arrested a female driver who they say crashed a stolen car just a few minutes after trying to interfere with a high speed pursuit on Interstate 70.

The chase started after a BMW was reported stolen in the Silverthorne area around 9:40 a.m., according to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Mike Baker.

“CSP dispatch issued a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for the stolen car,” Baker said. “A trooper on routine patrol spotted the BMW and a grey Chevy Impala traveling at high speed in the Dumont area.”

Baker told 7NEWS that the trooper pulled in behind the BMW, verified the license plate, activated his overhead lights and tried to contact the driver.

“They were traveling in the vicinity of 110 miles per hour,” Baker said.

He added that, “as the trooper was trying to make contact with the driver of the BMW, the Impala sped past him, and began driving erratically across the road, apparently trying to prevent him from contacting that vehicle.”

He said troopers stopped pursuing the BMW and the Impala at I-70 and West Colfax Avenue because traffic was increasing.

The Impala crashed a short distance away at Denver West Boulevard and the female driver then ran into a nearby building.

“She reportedly, and this is still being investigated, pulled the fire alarm,” Baker said. “And she attempted to flee from the building with everyone who was evacuating.”

“We heard the fire alarm go off,” said Jane Higgs, who had taken her young son there to see a doctor. “People were everywhere just scattering.”

Higgs told 7NEWS that the driver ran into the building huffing and puffing and was arrested a short time later.

“It was kind of frightening,” Higgs said.

“Yeah, it was,” added her son, Clayton Lee. “I was kind of scared. I didn’t know what to do.”

Investigators are still searching for the Silver BMW 5-Series sedan with Colorado license plate 233-YLH.

They’re also trying to determine the relationship between the driver of the BMW and the driver of the Chevy Impala.

Higgs said the Impala appeared to be smoldering when she walked outside. 

The heavily damaged vehicle, which was reported stolen out of Texas, had lost its right rear tire and rim.

Baker said State Patrol is trying to reconstruct events leading up to the accident.

He said it’s rare that a motorist will pull in front of a trooper and try to prevent them from contacting another driver.

Authorities haven’t released the identity of the Impala driver who was arrested.

The driver is being held on charges of first degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second degree burglary, vehicular eluding and possession of burglary tools -- all felonies.

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