A man driving a stolen yellow Cadillac eluded Virginia police on a 45-mile chase yesterday morning before crashing into highway barrier, jumping from the car, stealing another car in a Springfield shopping mall parking lot and escaping.
A Fredericksburg police officer stopped the Cadillac at about 10 a.m. for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, a police spokesman said. As the officer approached the car, the driver jammed down the accelerator and drove into nearby Stafford County where he crashed into another car. He leaped out of his car, robbed the driver of the car he had hit, got back into the Cadillac, and the chase was on, police said.
Virginia State Police chased the Cadillac, which had been reported stolen in November from Norwalk, Conn., north on I-95. The trooper lost the car in a traffic tie-up and the chase was picked up by Fairfax County police at the Newington exit on I-95. The car then jumped a curb into the express lane where a county policeman chased it at speeds reaching 100 miles an hour, said police spokesman Philip Lively.
A tire on the Cadillac blew out when it jumped the curb and it crashed into a barrier about half a mile later, police said. The driver jumped out and eluded police across a lane of highway traffic, over a fence and into the Springfield Plaza Shopping Center parking lot.
The man then commandeered a green 1974 Dodge from a woman who was in the car with a 3-year-old child. He shoved the woman out and sped to the edge of the parking lot, where he pushed the child from the car.
Police said the man was last seen driving north on Backlick Road. He eluded police even though the area was flooded with police cars. The yellow Cadillac, which was towed to a State Police compound, had been used in a Christmas Eve robbery in New Bern, N.C., police said.