Accused supermarket soap thief caught following police chase and crash

ST. ANN, MO (KPLR) – It started with shoplifters stealing soap from a St. Ann supermarket and ended with a crash and police coming under fire.

According to the St. Ann Police Department, two men stole soap from the Shop ‘n Save, just five to six blocks from department headquarters on St. Charles Rock Road, around 2:30 a.m. Friday. Police said the suspects pistol-whipped a store worker, nearly ran over another in the parking lot, and later shot at officers during the pursuit.

That pursuit lasted about five minutes and concluded with the suspects’ red Jeep Cherokee rolling over several times after striking another car.

St. Ann Police Lt. Dan Cowsert said the suspects were going close to 90 miles an hour on eastbound Interstate 70 near Lambert Airport. One of the suspects leaned out of the Jeep’s passenger window and fired five or six shots at a St. Ann patrol car.

Neither the car nor the officers were hit. Cowsert said. Police did not return fire.

The chase continued into Berkeley, where one suspect got out of the Jeep and ran. A short time later, the Jeep’s driver broadsided a car near Washington and Airport roads; that bystander was hurt, but not seriously injured.

Investigators believe the suspects planned to sell the soap and then use the money to buy illegal drugs.

The suspected driver of the Jeep, identified as Darnell Duncan, was charged with stealing and resisting arrest. His alleged accomplice remains on the loose.

Anyone with information on the accomplice’s identity and whereabouts is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS or the St. Ann Police Department at 314-428-6868.