CHICAGO (CBS) — A dangerous high-speed police pursuit ended when a high-tech tracking device found a stolen car and shut it down.
The Chevy Camaro was stolen from a gas station in West Dundee, and ended up 40 miles away in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood Monday night — in a set of bushes at Shields Avenue and Garfield Boulevard.
Two police agencies, a police helicopter, and dozens of police cars had trailed the brand new 2012 Chevy Camaro from West Dundee, but it was the car’s OnStar technology that ultimately put a stop to the 40-mile chase.
Brandon Holme had parked the month-old Camaro outside a Speedway gas station in West Dundee, and then went inside. He crossed paths with the man who ended up stealing his car while he went inside the gas station.
“I walked into the gas station, and as I’m walking in, he’s walking out, and he goes, ‘Nice Camaro,’” Holme said. “The guy said ‘Nice Camaro.’ He jumped in my car and took it.”
Holme called police, then called OnStar to report the car had been stolen. Police, working with OnStar, trailed the Camaro to Chicago.
“They told me they could not use OnStar until the cop was behind him. They can’t just shut it off when it’s anywhere,” Holme said.
Investigators eventually told the OnStar advisor to disable the vehicle when the car got to Englewood. The thief — 20-year-old Andre Hill, of Chicago — crashed into a set of bushes after OnStar disabled the gas pedal.
“It disables the vehicle completely. It shuts of the flow of the gas going to the engine,” said Walter Cade, a salesman with Chicago-based Rogers Auto Group.
Holme said he opted for OnStar, never thinking his car would be stolen and he’d have to use OnStar to track it down, but he was thankful he had it to get back his dream car.
“I don’t think they would have ever found the car if they didn’t have OnStar,” Holme said.
Police said it’s not often OnStar is used to disable a stolen vehicle, mostly because many stolen cars don’t have OnStar service.
Holme will get the car back Tuesday evening. Police told him it’s drivable, but there was significant damage from the crash.
No one was injured during the chase. Hill was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. His bail has been set at $30,000, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website.