WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport man was arrested after stealing a neighbors SUV Thursday afternoon, leading police on a chase, almost striking a detective, and then taking of from the scene after crashing the vehicle.
Investigators say the incident began on Halloween afternoon when the suspect, later identified as Jamie Pearce, 44, of Westport, stole a neighbors SUV. The victim, a woman, witnessed the crime and immediately called police. She followed the suspect briefly and provided updates to police which roads Pearce was driving on.
On Briggs Rd., a detective attempted to stop the stolen vehicle and was nearly struck as Pearce drove at his cruiser. The suspect continued down Sanford Rd. slowly at first, then accelerated to more than 70 mph where police decided to stop the pursuit for safety concerns.
Police say Pearce almost hit a school bus and other cars and went through a red light onto American Legion Highway headed east. Another Westport officer saw the suspect going faster than 80 mph, almost hitting several more vehicles.
As Pearce tried to turn onto Route 88 north, he lost control of the vehicle and spun out in the grass median. He was able to regain control of the SUV and continued going between 90-100 mph on Rt. 88 while passing people in the breakdown lane. Officers then lost sight of the vehicle.
A short time later, Massachusetts State Police spotted the stolen vehicle on 195 east in Dartmouth, passing cars in the breakdown lane while going more than 100 mph. He then turned onto Penniman St. in New Bedford and struck a parked car near Hazard Ct. After crashing, Pearce ran from the scene.
An arrest warrant for Pearce was issued, who had made previous comments about not returning to jail.
Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, several members of the Taunton Police Department went to Pearce’s last know address to arrest him. He was found in a back room and arrested without incident.
Pearce is facing several charges including larceny of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, operating a vehicle to endanger, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), and operating a vehicle with a revoked drivers license.