High-speed chase nets theft suspect

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State police identified Keisha Young, 24, as the shoplifting suspect who fled from the North Fayette Target department store Saturday afternoon, causing five collisions before crashing on the Parkway West around 5 p.m.

Police said the incident began when Target security detained Ms. Young, of McKees Rocks, and Whitney Felder, 25, alleging the two tried to shoplift more than $140 in infants’ clothes.

Ms. Young escaped Target security, ran from the store and drove away in a purple Chrysler Concorde, police said. Her 2-year-old son was in the vehicle.

A North Fayette police cruiser pursued the Chrysler as it blew through parking lots, pedestrian walkways, stop signs and red lights. Another North Fayette patrol car blocked the Chrysler’s path, but the vehicle swerved around it.

On nearby Cliff Mine Road, the Chrysler evaded a state police road block by jumping the median strip and driving north on the southbound lane.

Police said the vehicle entered eastbound Interstate 376, where it accelerated to more than 100 miles per hour while rapidly shifting lanes. The Chrysler drove onto the berm of the road, and when the berm ended, the vehicle smashed against a concrete median and sideswiped a car to get back on the road. The vehicle sideswiped two more cars, rear-ended a third, and collided into a guardrail, where it stopped.

A witness said the driver of the Chrysler jumped out of the car screaming, removed her child from the back seat and tried to flee.

Police said trooper Brian Jordan arrested Ms. Young at the scene of the crash. Traffic on the parkway was stopped for nearly 40 minutes while crews removed the wreckage.

Ms. Young faces 17 charges, including retail theft, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, failure to place a child in restraining device and driving with a suspended license. Court records show Ms. Young had prior charges for shoplifting and drug possession, and that Ms. Felder also had prior charges for shoplifting.

Ms. Young is in custody at the Allegheny County Jail and will face a preliminary hearing next Monday.

Brett Sholtis: bsholtis@post-gazette.com.

Brett Sholtis: bsholtis@post-gazette.com.

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