An alleged car thief led police on a chase before exiting the Mass Pike in Auburn to go to a Dunkin Donuts, according to a statement from police.
The incident happened on Feb. 4 just before 5 p.m. Trooper Joel Daoust saw three cars parked in the breakdown lane on the Mass Pike in Oxford and pulled behind them to offer his assistance, according to police.
Police say one of the drivers told Daoust they were pulled over to share toll money. As Daoust was checking their registrations, two of the vehicles took off “in an unsafe manner,’’ abandoning one of the vehicles entirely. Police determined the car left behind was stolen.
Daoust took off after one of the cars, a Honda, and attempted to pull the driver over. The driver refused to pull over and then exited the Pike at exit 12 in Auburn. At that point, Daoust “terminated the pursuit due to safety concerns,’’ said police.
About 10 minutes after the Honda exited the Pike, Trooper Pat Robinson saw the car enter a Dunkin Donuts on Route 20 in Auburn, according to the statement. Police say when the driver saw Robinson, he sped up, jumped a curb, and fled the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. Soon after, the Honda crashed and the driver fled by foot into the woods.
That’s when Robinson deployed K9 officer Jari after him. The suspect exited the woods with Jari hot on his trail and was taken into custody, according to police.
The driver of the Honda was charged with operating a motor vehicle without a license, failure to stop for police, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of a property damage crash. Police have not released his name.
Police say all three cars that were pulled over on the Mass Pike were stolen.