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High-speed chases are linked, patrol says

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said high-speed pursuits Tuesday in northwest Ohio are believed to be connected.

The first began on the Ohio Turnpike in Ottawa County and ended in rural northwest Ohio.

Troopers received information from the Livonia, Mich., police department that a Dodge Durango was believed to be involved in several break-ins was on the Ohio Turnpike.

The Durango was spotted at 3:10 p.m. going east on the Turnpike and troopers report chasing it to the Fremont area, where it left the highway and the chase ended.

At 4:39 p.m., troopers saw the SUV on U.S. 24 near U.S. 127. They said they attempted to stop it and it again took off. It is believed that the Durango made it to Indiana.

A Lincoln MKZ linked to the Dodge Durango was chased beginning about 4:30 p.m. in Auglaize County.

Police outside Cincinnati said the Lincoln MKZ topped 120 mph during the chase that ended when they used devices to deflate the vehicle's tires Tuesday evening. Troopers said the Ohio State Highway Patrol began pursuing the vehicle 100 miles away more than an hour earlier.

"The pursuit was terminated a short time later due to reckless and aggressive driving by the suspect vehicle," Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said. Patrol cruisers from several posts along southbound Interstate 75 took up the pursuit but stopped for safety reasons, she said. No one was injured.

A Hamilton County sheriff's helicopter followed overhead as the car turned onto Interstate 275 north of Cincinnati. It exited, almost hitting a police cruiser, and was driving "all over the road" after returning to the interstate, according to a Sharonville police report. After the tires were deflated, the vehicle turned onto a side road and the helicopter crew reported seeing four occupants running away.

Three people were arrested, while a young man escaped during a lengthy search involving multiple police agencies, Sharonville police said. Police didn't identify the suspect.

Police in Livonia, Mich., said the Lincoln MKZ has been linked to suspected criminal activity in the Detroit area. Sgt. Steven Petsch said there has been an ongoing investigation into identity theft and related crimes in Livonia and neighboring cities.

"There's a whole lot more to it," Petsch said. ""We're still looking into details as far as our crimes."

Ralston declined to discuss details, saying: "We don't want to compromise an ongoing investigation."

Being held in Warren County Jail pending arraignments Thursday on fleeing and eluding charges were Courtney Coney, 29, of Plantation, Fla.; Stanley Jacques, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, and Emily Freeman, 21, of Coral Springs. No attorneys were listed for them.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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