Sparta tool theft sparks 15-mile chase starting at McDonald’s drive-thru to Cashton
SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — The theft of tools from the All American Do It Center in Sparta resulted in a 100-mph chase that included a collision with a police car at a McDonald’s drive-thru and the arrest of three men, according to Sparta police.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, when police were dispatched to the home improvement center at 1310 W. Wisconsin St., according to a news release from Deputy Police Chief Booker Ferguson.
Three men took a cart of expensive tools and loaded them into a vehicle before fleeing without paying, the release said.
Within minutes, Sparta police officers located a vehicle matching the description in a McDonald’s drive-thru. As an officer got out of his squad car to approach the vehicle, the driver accelerated out of the drive-thru line toward the officer.
The suspect vehicle then collided with a second squad car and fled southbound on Hwy. 27 toward Cashton. At times, the vehicle reached speeds of 100 mph between Sparta and Cashton, Ferguson said.
During the 15-mile pursuit, a passenger in the back seat held up a handmade sign saying “HELP” in the rear window. Sparta police disabled the vehicle and surrounded it in Cashton.
Police arrested the following without incident: 23-year old Trevor Maloney of Junction City, Wis., the driver, and 28-year-old Cody Lubben and 35-year-old Dennis Shay, both of La Crosse.
Officers found several stolen items, methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, according to the news release.
Potential charges in the case include felony theft, felony fleeing, possession of methamphetamines, felony recklessly endangering safety and probation violations.
Assisting Sparta officers were the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the Cashton Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol, according to Ferguson’s release.