GPS technology helps St. Ann police end bizarre road rage case

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ST. ANN, Mo. – St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez says his department received a 911 call for help late Thursday morning. The female caller said she was traveling along St. Charles Rock Road when a stranger started tailgating and following her.

“He then comes over to her driver’s side, gets up next to her, and keeps looking at her,” Jimenez said.

Police say the suspect followed the woman all the way to her home and rolled down his window and asked her a question that made no sense.

“He had actually followed her to her driveway, pulled up, rolled down the window and said, ‘Hey, is this McDonalds?’” Jimenez said.

When police tried pulling the suspect over, dash came video shows the driver refusing to stop.

Police were able to use a system called StarChase to eventually track down the suspect. The department’s patrol cars are outfitted with the device that can be deployed from the front of their cruiser.

In this case, the device was deployed and stuck to the back of the suspect’s vehicle. The chase ended because road conditions were wet. The suspect sped off and eventually drove the car into a ravine. The GPS device that was attached to his vehicle led police to the arrest.

“We would have never found him had it not been for the GPS,” Jimenez said. “He would have been long gone.”

Police set up a perimeter and a K9 led officers to the suspect. Police say the suspect has a warrant for a felony charge of first-degree burglary and will now face even more charges.

Jimenez says a team effort involving dispatch, the detective bureau, and the patrol division helped lead to the arrest without anyone being injured.

“Everything went right,” he said.

The department has 10 StarChase units. The total cost for the system was $55,000. Jimenez says the money came from an asset forfeiture program involving drug arrests so no taxpayer money was used.

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