Two in custody following carjacking in Belleville, extended police pursuit

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Two people are in custody after carjacking a Belleville mother late Tuesday night and leading police on a pursuit on both sides of the Mississippi River.

The victim, a 23-year-old woman, said her silver 2009 Pontiac G8 was taken from her at gunpoint by two men on Eastview Drive around 11:30 p.m. She was blocked in by two vehicles -- one in front of her, one behind her. She was allowed to remove her three-year-old daughter and six-month-old son from the vehicle before the suspects took off. No one was injured during the hijacking.

Glen Carbon police located the stolen Pontiac Wednesday morning and pursued the vehicle across the Chain of Rocks Bridge into Missouri. Illinois authorities broke off their pursuit at that point. The Pontiac was next seen in the Soulard Market area. The stolen vehicle was recovered around noon in the 200 block of Madison, near Broadway and the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Authorities said the suspects got into a different vehicle and drove back across the river and into Granite City. Police from St. Louis and Granite City stopped that vehicle at 20th and Washington in Granite City. A man and woman were taken into police custody. Their names and ages have not been released as detectives continue their investigation.

According to Captain Bruce Fleshren, St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, one of the suspect vehicles in the aforementioned carjacking--a dark Jeep Cherokee--was used in a similar crime minutes earlier in the 1600 block of North Belt West in Swansea, Illinois.

Fleshren said the Jeep had been reported stolen out of Maryville, Illinois and may also be tied to another crime in Collinsville.