Wild car chase ends in Northern Liberties

Al­leged po­lice car thieves Blake Bills, 24, and Shayna Sykes, 23, led Cam­den and Phil­adelphia po­lice on a wild chase Tues­day morn­ing that ended with two ar­rests and a po­lice of­ficer in­jured. IM­AGE COUR­TESY OF PHILLY.COM

Mac­ungie, Pa. couple was high on heroin dur­ing dan­ger­ous joy ride, will face charges in both New Jer­sey and Phil­adelphia.

A man and wo­man on the run from Cam­den, N.J. au­thor­it­ies re­portedly stole two po­lice cars dur­ing a wild car chase through North­east Phil­adelphia that ended in North­ern Liber­ties, just around the corner from Su­per­fresh on Gir­ard Av­en­ue.

Blake Bills, 24, and Shayna Sykes, 23, of Mac­ungie, Pa., al­legedly stole a Cam­den po­lice car be­fore 10 a.m. this morn­ing from a po­lice of­ficer who was tick­et­ing an­oth­er driver for an un­re­lated vi­ol­a­tion.

That of­ficer was then re­portedly hit with his own patrol car by Bills and Sykes and sus­tained in­jur­ies to his legs be­fore they fled for Phil­adelphia via the Ben­jamin Frank­lin Bridge.

“We just saw the cops fly­ing by,” said Joe, who was work­ing at Wine and Spir­its Store on West Gir­ard Ave, near where the dra­mat­ic chase ended. “Our truck driver told us he saw the af­ter­math.”

Bills and Sykes, who ac­cord­ing to po­lice were re­por­ted miss­ing by Bills’ grand­moth­er and have a 7-month-old baby to­geth­er, al­legedly drove in­to North Phil­adelphia, where the battered Cam­den po­lice car came to a halt at 7th and Nor­ris streets, between Fer­guson Ele­ment­ary School and Midtown United Meth­od­ist Church.

Em­ploy­ees of the church and school de­clined to com­ment on the in­cid­ent.

Ac­cord­ing to Philly.com, the two were “high on heroin when they made off with least one ci­vil­ian car in Phil­adelphia earli­er that morn­ing and at­temp­ted to steal an­oth­er in Cam­den after their first broke down,” ac­cord­ing to Jason Laugh­lin, spokes­man for the Cam­den County Pro­sec­utor’s of­fice.

While Bills re­portedly was be­ing ar­res­ted at 7th and Nor­ris streets, Sykes al­legedly stole an ar­rest­ing of­ficer’s car, numbered 2526, and tore off through the North­east back to­wards the bridge.

Heli­copter foot­age by Fox29 News showed the stolen po­lice cruis­er driv­en by the fe­male sus­pect crumple its front fend­er as it struck a mov­ing box truck, then briefly emit­ting flames and smoke from the back of the car. The car con­tin­ued on, nearly sideswip­ing a fe­male ped­es­tri­an cross­ing the street, who fell to the ground in shock and struck her head.

That ped­es­tri­an’s con­di­tion is stable, po­lice said.

The stolen po­lice car was later video­taped by ABC News veer­ing from Mas­ter Street onto Amer­ic­an Street headed south, and then wildly dodging traffic in­clud­ing a SEPTA trol­ley on Gir­ard Av­en­ue as it passed Su­per­fresh Mar­ket be­fore turn­ing onto Han­cock Street.

 “I haven’t seen any­thing – oh wow,” said Jean­nie, an em­ploy­ee at the Crane Arts Cen­ter, loc­ated at Mas­ter and Amer­ic­an streets, when asked about wheth­er she wit­nessed Sykes’ driv­ing right past her build­ing.

The dra­mat­ic chase ended on the 1100 block of Hope Street and Sykes was ar­res­ted after the Phil­adelphia po­lice car, which had sus­tained ser­i­ous dam­age dur­ing the chase, be­came in­op­er­able, ac­cord­ing to Lt. John Stan­ford.

“Dur­ing the course of that pur­suit she ac­tu­ally came in con­tact with some oth­er vehicles, parked vehicles and vehicles that were driv­ing … One of the right front tires looked like it was com­pletely blown out,” Lt. Stan­ford said. “She wasn’t able to keep driv­ing.”

Six cars were hit by Sykes dur­ing her flight.

At a press con­fer­ence this af­ter­noon, Deputy Phil­adelphia Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Richard J. Ross Jr. said that both sus­pects will face charges of res­ist­ing ar­rest, driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence, and risk­ing a cata­strophe.

“You’re talk­ing about some very reck­less in­di­vidu­als,” Deputy Com­mis­sion­er Ross told news me­dia at an press con­fer­ence earli­er in the day. “I’ve nev­er heard of any­body steal­ing two po­lice cars in the same in­cid­ent.”

Charges were filed in New Jer­sey against the couple Wed­nes­day, Philly.com re­por­ted. Bills is charged with at­temp­ted murder, car­jack­ing, elud­ing, ag­grav­ated as­sault and as­sault by auto, and Sykes is charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit theft of a car and joyrid­ing.

The Mac­ungie couple also faces charges in Phil­adelphia.

Re­port­er Sam Ne­w­house can be reached at 215-354-3124 or at sne­w­house@bsmphilly.com.

Man­aging Ed­it­or Mi­kala Jam­is­on can be reached at 215-354-3113 or at mjam­is­on@bsmphilly.com.

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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