Two apprehended following multiple-city pursuit

BERRIEN COUNTY – Two individuals have been apprehended following a multiple-city pursuit.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey announced Wednesday that a 22-year-old male has been arrested and a 16-year-old female apprehended in Weesaw Township. The two are suspects in larcenies from motor vehicles in Three Oaks, Niles and Bridgman.

At approximately 2:53 a.m. Wednesday, deputies from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office observed a black 1998 Dodge Ram pickup truck traveling near the vicinity of Pucker and Pokagon streets in Berrien Township.

The deputies noted that this vehicle matched the description of a vehicle that previously fled from officers from Bridgman City and City of Niles police earlier in the evening while those law enforcement officers were investigating potential thefts from motor vehicles.

At this time, the BCSO deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle when the vehicle fled from the deputies, which resulted in a police pursuit. The one-hour chase went through Berrien Township, Niles Township, Buchanan Township, City of Buchanan, Lake Township, Chikaming Township and into Weesaw Township. During the pursuit, speeds exceeded the posted speed limits, and in a few areas, the speeds approached 100 mph.

During the chase, the vehicle drove at an officer attempting to deploy a tire deflation device. The officer avoided being hit by jumping over a guardrail.

Later, at approximately 3:59 a.m., the suspect vehicle drove into a field off Minich Road in Weesaw Township, and the two occupants of the vehicle fled on foot.

The 16-year-old female was apprehended by BCSO deputies, and the 22-year-old male, Zachary Dawson Thain, was apprehended by BCSO deputies with the assistance of BCSO K9 “Blek.”

Thain was lodged at the Berrien County Jail on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, resisting and obstructing a police officer, and a probation violation warrant.

The 16-year-old female was lodged at the Berrien County Juvenile Center on a valid J-5 pickup order.

The BCSO Detective Bureau Personnel is currently working in conjunction with officers from the Bridgman City Police Department and the Niles City Police Department to ascertain the involvement of the suspects in other criminal activity, such as the unlawful driving away of an automobile on April 27 at the Speedway Gas Station in the village of Three Oaks, numerous larcenies from motor vehicles at the Oakview Estates Mobile Home Community in Three Oaks, as well as larceny from motor vehicles that occurred in the city of Niles and the city of Bridgman.

Agencies involved were Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Niles City Police Department and  Bridgman City Police Department.

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