Five suspects face possible charges after high-speed chase

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Five suspects face possible charges after high-speed chase

By Jay Sorgi & the WTMJ News Team. CREATED May 9, 2012 - UPDATED: May 10, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Charges could come as early as Thursday after authorities took five burglary suspects into custody after a high-speed chase in a stolen day care vehicle on I-94 in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha Counties.

At about 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, squad cars including the State Patrol and sheriff's vehicles from Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha Sheriffs departments caught a white day care van going south on I-94 near the Illinois border.

Chopper 4 shows exclusive video of the arrest of the burglary suspects, which happened near County Highway C.

Based on preliminary information, no one was hurt during the chase.  Vehicles went at least 80 miles per hour.

Milwaukee police says the chase began at 9:48 a.m. following a burglary reported near the corner of North 51st Street and West Good Hope Avenue.

Police says their vehicles stopped pursuing the suspects around 10:00 a.m., due to reasons of public safety.

According to TODAY'S TMJ4's Shelley Walcott, the van went through Menomonee Falls on U.S. 41/45 before going south towards the Illinois border.

"It was kind of fast," said witness Erika Mallett.  "It kind of shook my car.  I (saw) them swerving lanes because it was narrow.  I would say he (was) going 55 to 60 at that point."

Photojournalist Mark Was says authorities laid down stop sticks in order to end the pursuit. 

One set of stop sticks initially failed to stop the vehicle.  Was said another set of sticks blew out the left front tire of the van.  It weaved through traffic before coming to a stop.

Officers then drew their guns.  Five suspects jumped out and authorities arrested them along the center divider.

Traffic was delayed on I-94 southbound due to the chase and arrests, though authorities kept the freeway open.

TODAY'S TMJ4 tracked the license plate to ABC Day Care Center in Milwaukee, near the corner of North 59th St. and West Center St.

Kathy Nichols, the director of the center, told reporter Cody Holyoke that someone came to their center with another stolen vehicle.  They then took the van.

"That's a shame.  They left a stolen vehicle here to steal our vehicle," said Nichols, who found out by watching TODAY'S TMJ4's coverage that her company's vehicle had been stolen. 

"When people steal vehicles, they usually steal it for another crime.  That's sad."

See raw exclusive video of TODAY'S TMJ4 coverage from Chopper 4 by clicking on the video links to the left.