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Driver crashed car after refusing to pull over, stole shoes running away: cops

CHESTERTON, Ind. — A Joliet man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly refused to pull over while speeding in northwest Indiana, crashed the car he was driving and then broke into a garage to steal shoes while running away from the scene of the crash, authorities said.

Indiana State Police Captain Keith Kopinski was monitoring traffic at 2:09 p.m. on I-94 in Chesterton near the 23.5 mile marker when he saw a red 2004 Chrysler Crossfire speeding in a construction zone, according to a statement from state police.

As the captain tried to catch up to the Crossfire, its driver, 23-year-old Ryan M. Alton, moved the car “recklessly” from lane to lane, apparently trying to avoid being stopped, police said. The captain had not yet activated the emergency lights on his police car at this point.

While driving on the shoulder, the Crossfire changed lanes and hit the back of a 2014 Volvo pulling a trailer, police said. Debris from the crash hit a third vehicle, a 2005 Subaru Impreza,

Alton and a passenger then got out of the car and ran away on foot toward a wooded residential area, police said. Captain Kopinski called for assistance and troopers and local police caught the passenger without incident. A nearby elementary school was placed on a temporary lockdown as the search for Alton continued.

Alton apparently entered a garage and took shoes to replace the ones he had lost while running away, police said. He was later found in a shed at another nearby home.

He was arrested and charged with burglary for breaking into the garage and stealing the shoes, police said. He was also charged with resisting law enforcement. The passenger was released without charges.

Alton was taken to Porter Hospital with minor injuries before being transported to Porter County Jail, police said. The drivers of the other vehicles involved in the crash were not injured.