Stolen shoes lead to multi-county pursuit, crashes

Traffic flows past a crime scene along I-69 following a pursuit from Whitley County to Allen County.

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WANE) One man was arrested after running from police and causing three crashes Friday evening.

Police were called to Shoe Show on W. Plaza Dr. in Columbia City around 6:45 Friday after someone walked out of the store with a stolen pair of Nike shoes.

A Whitley County sheriff’s Deputy spotted a car that matched the description of the suspected shoplifter about 30 minutes later. The man took off, leading police on a pursuit along US 30.

The pursuit reached speeds up to 115 mph. As the chase approached Allen County, police used stop sticks but missed the vehicle. Once the driver, Mattew Woods, 35 of Fort Wayne, got to US 30 and I-69, he crashed the vehicle into two other vehicles before stopping, according to police.

Woods was taken into custody at about 7:15 p.m. by the Whitley County Sheriff’s and Columbia City Police. The Indiana State Police, Allen County Police Department and the Fort Wayne Police Department also assisted in the incident.

Fort Wayne police also checked on the people in the other vehicles involved in the crashes. It isn’t known if any of them were hurt.

The Allen County officials and Indiana State Police investigated the three separate crashes as a result of the pursuit. No officers were hurt.

Woods was taken to a hospital where he was medically cleared. Officers took him to the Whitley County Jail pending criminal charges.

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