On Wednesday, June 2nd, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department was advised that the Rice Lake Police Department was looking for a grey Dodge Caravan that was just stolen from a residence in the City and it was travelling south on Main Street.
The Barron County 911 Center received a call from the owner of the van who advised she had seen the van going south on County Road SS near the mall at a high rate of speed. A Barron County Deputy was travelling north on County Road SS and observed the stolen van traveling in excess of 80 mph south on County Road SS, almost to Cameron. As this deputy turned around to attempt to stop it, the Cameron Police Officer attempted to deploy stop sticks as the stolen vehicle entered Cameron but the vehicle evaded them.
A chase ensued with deputies on County Road SS to Chetek where two deputies had closed off County Road SS to traffic and deployed 2 sets of stop sticks. The stolen vehicle struck both sticks and immediately lost air in both front tires. The stolen van was travelling about 20- 25 mph and refusing to stop. A Barron County Deputy performed a PIT Maneuver on the vehicle and brought the chase to an end in the City of Chetek.
The driver, 37 year old Samantha Smith, of Rice Lake was taken into custody without incident. Smith was charged yesterday in Barron County Court with Fleeing an Officer and Operating a Motor Vehicle without Owner’s Consent. She is being held in the Barron County Jail on a $500 cash bond.
There was minor bumper damage to the deputy’s vehicle.