DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A high speed chase through Denham Springs ended in the Livingston Square Shopping center parking lot just before 11 a.m. Thursday. Denham Springs Police officials say the chase ended when the getaway car crashed into the CVS building.
Officials have released the name of the two suspects; Charlie Matthews, 24, and Patrick Booker Jr., 22, both of Baton Rouge.
According to Denham Springs Police, two suspects are in custody and are suspected to be responsible for numerous burglaries in several jurisdictions. They are believed to be connected to at least 50 burglaries in Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.
According to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, deputies have been investigating a rash of burglaries.
"My detectives along with detectives from East Baton Rouge had been setting up in different parts of both parishes close to parish lines in an attempt to catch these subjects pulling residential daytime burglaries in both areas," said Sheriff Jason Ard.
All detectives had information that the suspects were traveling in an older model Chevrolet 4 door vehicle and were patrolling subdivisions in both parishes.
LPSO detectives were patrolling south of the city of Denham Springs when information came through LPSO Dispatch of a residential burglary in progress in the Plantation Estates Subdivision. Detectives were able to get to the burglary location and spotted a vehicle fitting the vehicle described above. While under surveillance, the suspect vehicle left the scene and a pursuit began.
The pursuit went into the city of Denham Springs and ended when the suspect vehicle crashed into the CVS Pharmacy on South Range Ave. inside the Denham Springs city limits. Both subjects were arrested and taken into custody shortly after the crash. Neither subject was injured in the crash.
"It was crazy," said Bryan Carroll, Asst. Manager at Take 5 Oil Change.
Carroll says he watched the getaway car and 10-15 cop cars cross through the intersection at Florida and Range. He says the getaway car drove off the road, through some grass and across a sidewalk.
"Me and the other guys in the shop, we were like, 'I hope nobody got hit. I hope nobody got hurt,'" said Carroll. "The speeds that they were going, yes, it was very intense."
[endif]One suspect was arrested outside of the CVS Pharmacy on S. Range near Mr. Gatti's. The other, according to police, ran into the bathroom of CVS and locked himself in.
"During the pursuit, while attempting to avoid capture, the suspect vehicle hit one of my units with a deputy inside. My deputy, a veteran, was uninjured," said Sheriff Jason Ard.
Officials say the chase lasted between five and eight minutes and exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour.
Both men have been charged with three counts of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, aggravated flight from an officer, and resisting arrest. Other charges are possible.
9News asked Sheriff Ard why he did not let the public know earlier.
"If you alert the media, that suspect may never use that vehicle again cause he also watches the media," said Sheriff Ard. "So what we try to do is catch them in the act."
"As this is an ongoing joint investigation by both LPSO and EBRSO, detectives from both agencies are compiling information on outstanding burglary cases which will involve both of the arrested subjects. At this time, it is unknown as to the cases that will be cleared from these arrests as well as the exact charges each man will face," said Ard.