One Man Charged Following This Morning’s Police Pursuit

Marquise Spates

One man has been charged in connection with Tuesday morning’s burglaries and fleeing from police. Marquise Spates, 18, of East St. Louis, has been charged with several counts, including criminal trespass to a motor vehicle and obstructing Justice. He also has outstanding warrants for being a fugitive from justice and also tampering with a motor vehicle (St. Louis County). Spates remains behind bars at the Monroe County Jail waiting an upcoming court appearance.

Spates was found by officers soon after being one of three suspects who jumped out of a stolen car in Waterloo’s Oak Valley subdivision. Spates was quickly arrested as he hid in a nearby cornfield.

Two others remain at large. Police continue to search the area. The investigation is ongoing.
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One man is behind bars while two suspects remain at large following a car theft, high-speed pursuit and manhunt south of Waterloo.  The early-morning hours of Tuesday, July 18 proved very eventful for local law enforcement. Numerous officers from around the county worked together on this incident. An SUV stolen in Missouri was used that evening by burglars breaking into unlocked cars in the Westpark neighborhood of Columbia. When Columbia police officers attempted to pull over the vehicle, the driver stepped on the gas and led the officers on a high speed pursuit south on Route 3 and through Waterloo before abandoning the vehicle in the Oak Valley subdivision (across from the John Deere dealership).

Police soon found one of the suspects hiding in a nearby cornfield. Two other people who fled from the vehicle were able to avoid capture. The two, described as black males, remain at large as wanted men. The investigation is ongoing. Behind bars is East St. Louis resident Marquise Spates, 18. He has been charged with several counts, including criminal trespass to a motor vehicle and obstructing Justice. He also has outstanding warrants for being a fugitive from justice and tampering with a motor vehicle (St. Louis County). Spates remains behind bars at the Monroe County Jail waiting an upcoming court appearance.

It all began in the early in the morning hours of Tuesday morning, July 18. At 12:28 a.m., a Columbia residents living on Bradington Drive (the Westpark neighborhood behind the bowling alley) reported a suspicious vehicle slowly driving up and down the street The caller stated the white SUV would stop at every car it came upon and passengers would jump out and check to see if those cars were locked. Valuables and coins were taken from the unlocked vehicles.The residents described the vehicle’s occupants as three black males.

Columbia police officers were soon in the area. When they got behind the vehicle and ran the plates, it was discovered the white Kia was listed as being stolen from Richmond Heights, Mo. The CPD squad car turned on its lights to pull the SUV over near the Columbia Taco Bell. At this point, the driver declined to stop and drove onto the southbound lanes of Rt. 3. It continued to drive south at a very high rate of speed. Columbia officers pursued.

 The Columbia emergency dispatcher alerted officers in Millstadt, Waterloo, Illinois State Police and Monroe County deputies of this situation and to be on the lookout to assist. The Kia was making a beeline to Waterloo at speeds over 80 MPH. Officers were hot on their tail.

Within a few minutes the pursuit arrived in Waterloo with the suspect vehicle blazing through the intersections at North Market, Moore Street, Park St. (Rt. 156) and South Market. Officers decided to end the pursuit where Rt. 3 shifts back to two lanes at Vandebrook Drive. They felt it would not be a safe situation for the innocent motorists they come upon along the highway. Red Bud and Randolph County officers were informed on the situation. The officers then fanned out and canvassed nearly roads, subdivisions and businesses. The suspect vehicle was spotted within a couple minutes in the Oak Valley subdivision. It was abandoned.

Officers from Columbia, Waterloo and county deputies set up and K-9 units began picking up tracks. Columbia officer Zack Hopkins and his K-9 Daggo quickly located one of the suspects hiding in a nearby cornfield. The suspect was handcuffed and placed into the back of a squad car. Upon initial questioning, the suspect stated he was just a passenger and he claimed he did not know the names or whereabouts of the other two individuals who fled from the Kia.

The search continued throughout the night and into Tuesday for the two remaining suspects on the loose. Officers and K-9s searched on foot along Old Red Bud Road, to the County Electric headquarters, down Kaskaskia Road and along numerous other roadways, fields and woods. A drone helicopter was also used to assist in the search from overhead.

            As of Wednesday morning, the two suspects remain on the loose. Citizens are advised to continue to be on alert - lock your doors, put cars inside if possible, and listen for any strange noises outdoors, including dogs barking. If you spot anything unusual, please call 911 and report your information.

            The Kia was towed to the Columbia Police Department. Officers searched the vehicle for stolen items taken in the Westpark burglaries. It was also thoroughly checked for fingerprints to aid in their investigation.

            The Richmond Heights’ resident who owns the Kia was happily reunited with her car at 12 noon on Tuesday.

            Throughout Tuesday, calls continued to stream into the CPD from citizens filing reports of vehicle break-ins that occurred Monday night into Tuesday morning. Calls came in from folks living along Bradington, Westpark, Forrest View and Meadow Ridge.

            Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul asks citizens in those neighborhoods to double-check their vehicles to determine if their cars were involved. He also reminds citizens to never leave valuable in their cars overnight, and to always keep their vehicles locked.