Carjacking may be connected to several armed robberies

EAST ST. LOUS, Ill -   A dramatic overnight police chase that went from East St. Louis to the Jennings area ends with two persons of interest in reference to a theft in custody. Now police are trying to figure out if the two could be connected with two recent armed robberies.

East St. Louis Police officers started the chase overnight after spotting a carjacked Chevy Trailblazer on North 24th Street at around 11pm. When officers tried to pull the vehicle over, it took off. The Trailblazer actually went the wrong way on I-64 for a time in East St. Louis. After the SUV got on I-64 going the right way, the chase continued over the MLK bridge into St. Louis.  The pursuit then went onto I-70. The chase ended after the Trailblazer ran off the road at I-70 and Jennings Station Road at about 11:30pm Thursday.  The suspects were taken into custody.

An East St. Louis police cruiser hit twice by the trailblazer during the chase. The cruiser sustained minor damage.

Police are now investigating if the two suspects from the chase could be responsible for two frightening armed robberies early on Tuesday morning in the Metro East. One robbery happened at a Granite City 7-11 the other at a Circle K gas station near Belleville.

Captain Bruce Fleshren with the St. Clair County Sheriff`s Department says there is a silver Ford Escape that investigators believe was used in the armed robberies. That vehicle was stolen from 14th and Choteau just south of downtown St. Louis.

Fleshren says the Chevy Trailblazer in the overnight chase was carjacked from the same spot Thursday afternoon. That connection is leading police to look into whether the suspects from the chase could be behind the armed robberies as well.