CAMDEN — Prosecutors in southern New Jersey have filed numerous charges against a Pennsylvania couple accused of stealing a police car and leading authorities on a two-state chase.
Blake Bills, of Macungie, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault by auto, carjacking and eluding. His 23-year-old girlfriend, Shayna Sykes, was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of a car and joyriding.
The charges were announced Wednesday, one day after the chase that injured one officer, wrecked several vehicles and led to the theft of another police cruiser in Philadelphia.
The two also face a long list of charges in Pennsylvania. Authorities there say the couple, who have a 7-month-old child, had recently been reported missing by a relative.
Camden County prosecutors said Bills and Sykes are also being investigated in connection with two other unrelated incidents in southern New Jersey. One involved a police pursuit, the other an attempted carjacking.
The drama began unfolding about 10 a.m. Tuesday in Camden after an officer made an unrelated traffic stop outside police headquarters, authorities said.
When the officer left his marked car running to talk with the motorist, Bills and Sykes happened to be walking by and jumped in the cruiser, police said. As they drove off, they struck the 16-year member of the force, who was hospitalized with a broken leg.
Bills then led police from several jurisdictions on a chase through neighboring Pennsauken and Cherry Hill before turning back through Camden at speeds estimated at 100 mph, officials said.
He then crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge into Pennsylvania, where police caught up with the damaged patrol car in north Philadelphia. Bills was taken into custody, but Sykes managed to escape and commandeer an unattended Philadelphia cruiser, officials said.
She then led police on a second, shorter chase in which she hit several vehicles before coming to a stop in the city’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, possibly because the cruiser was so badly damaged, Ross said. Police subdued her as she tried to flee.