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Published: Thursday, 9/16/2004

SUV stopped in turnpike chase

A Cleveland-area man was arrested yesterday after he reportedly crashed a new sport utility vehicle through a showroom window and led state troopers on a 25-mile, high-speed chase on the Ohio Turnpike that ended in Lucas County.

Richard Stewart, 47, of Lakewood was charged with receiving stolen property, possession of criminal tools, and fleeing and eluding and was being held in the Sandusky County jail.

Troopers at the Ohio Highway Patrol's Milan post said a man stole a 2004 Cadillac Escalade from a Lakewood auto dealership by driving it through the showroom window. At 4:12 a.m., the patrol's turnpike headquarters in Berea received a call from the OnStar in-vehicle communications system notifying troopers of the theft.

A trooper located the vehicle on the turnpike near Vickery in Sandusky County, followed it westbound for 17 miles, and then activated his emergency lights and siren, the highway patrol said.

The driver then fled at speeds up to 90 mph into Wood County, where Stop Sticks placed on the turnpike by another trooper punctured the SUV's right front tire.

The vehicle's speed slowed to about 65 mph, and the driver was stopped near the U.S. 20 exit in Lucas County, troopers said.

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