By Fred Sandstrom, The Chicago Times
April 19, 2023
OAK BROOK, IL – Three suspects have been charged in leading police on a high-speed chase after allegedly stealing merchandise from the Oak Brook TJ Maxx.
According to prosecutors, on April 14, 2023, around 2:48 pm, Oak Brook police observed a GMC Acadia, allegedly driven by Russell Miller, 24, of the 9000 block of S. Brandon Avenue, in the aisle of a parking lot at the Shops of Oak Brook. Police later observed two individuals, identified later as, Zhane Ball, 28, of Iowa City, Iowa, and Xavier Miller, 28, of the 8300 block of S. Baker, Chicago, exit the TJ Maxx store, place items into the Acadia, and then enter the vehicle which quickly fled from the parking lot heading eastbound on 22nd Street.
As officers followed, the Acadia made a sudden U-turn and drove through a red light at which time the officers attempted to make a traffic stop. Oak Brook police alleged that the Acadia initially stopped for officers, but as officers approached the vehicle, the Acadia fled and led officers on a high-speed pursuit reaching speeds in excess of 75 mph in a 45-mph zone.
Police also alleged that during the pursuit, which continued near York High School in Elmhurst as students were being dismissed for the day, that Miller side swiped a school bus, lost control of his vehicle, and crashed into another car. All three defendants were taken into custody at the scene of the crash. To the surprise of officers, it was discovered that five children, ranging in age from two months to ten years old, were in the Acadia.
In the process of the investigation, it is further alleged that Xavier Miller and Ball entered the TJ Maxx store and stole shoes, socks, and handbags valued at $1,700.
“This most recent case of fleeing from the police is extremely disturbing as it involves five young children in the vehicle as the driver allegedly fled and ultimately crashed his vehicle,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “To make matters worse, the driver allegedly led police on a chase near a school just as students were leaving for the day. Thankfully, no innocent motorists or students were injured or killed.”
All three suspects have been charged with one felony count of burglary, one felony count of retail theft, two felony counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, and five misdemeanor counts of endangering the health or life of a child.
All three suspects are scheduled for an arraignment on May 8, 2023.