WASHINGTON — A man and woman from Baltimore used two young girls to help them steal and conceal roughly $400 worth of merchandise from a Babies R Us store before striking a police officer in the parking lot and then leading police on a chase in Anne Arundel County Thursday evening, police said.
Anne Arundel County Police said officers twice tried to block the getaway car from leaving the store lot on Ritchie Highway in Pasadena.
The first officer approached the suspected shoplifters as they climbed into a vehicle. The driver of the car accelerated and struck the officer in the leg, police said.
Other officers blockaded the lot’s exit to prevent the driver from leaving. The driver paused, backed up and struck a patrol car before finagling around other police cars and out onto the road, police said.
As the vehicle traveled north on Ritchie Highway, the occupants were seen tossing the stolen merchandise out the windows. Police were able to stop the fleeing vehicle with the help of stop sticks at 16th Avenue, near Cedar Hill Cemetery.
The driver, Erik B. Prestbury, 50, was charged with multiple counts of theft and assault, plus reckless endangerment. Tierra L. Reid, 28, was charged with theft.
Reid’s 11-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old niece were also in the car. The two girls were given juvenile citations for their role in the shoplifting and were handed over to other family members, police said.
The merchandise was returned to the store. The struck officer suffered minor injuries and did not need medical care.
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