Auto Thief Crashes Stolen Pontiac Aztec into Tree During Police Chase and Dies

Indianapolis police received a report about 8:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning of a stolen vehicle. A woman had left her Pontiac Aztek running on the driveway while she went back inside her home for a short time. When she returned, here Aztec was gone.

By 9:30 a.m. police received a report from a GPS tracking service that the stolen vehicle was located in the 3500 block of Orchard Avenue. Police responded to the area, spotted the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. The driver of the Aztec stopped and raised his hands, but the first officer on the scene did not walk immediately to the vehicle because a “Felony Stop” was the protocol for a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle. A felony stop is protocol because the offender is driving a vehicle that has no identity connected with the driver and because the driver has already shown the propensity to commit a serious crime — a felony. A felony stop involves multiple police officers strategically positioning their vehicle near the offender’s vehicle, and then approaching with weapons drawn.

While the Indianapolis police officer was waiting for backup for the felony stop, the offender took off with the Azteck eastbound on East 38th Street at high speed, and a police pursuit began. The offender swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle at 38th Street and North Sherman Drive, lost control and hit a tree.

The offender was pronounced dead at the scene by Indianapolis paramedics.

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