DANVILLE – Suspects driving a stolen vehicle, wanted in connection for car burglaries in Danville led Pleasant Hill police on a high speed chase before fleeing onto the campus of Acalanes High School, prompting a lockdown of the school.
Pleasant Hill Police say they responded to the Dick’s Sporting Goods, on the 2300 block of Monument Blvd., at the request of the Danville Police, who were investigating fraudulent credit card transactions at the location.
Authorities say two suspects in a series of recent burglaries in Danville had previously conducted fraudulent transactions at the location. When the suspects returned at around 10:00 am Thursday morning, the police were contacted.
Pleasant Hill Police say when they arrived at the location, the suspects drove away in a stolen Volkswagon Jetta and they attempted a traffic stop in the vehicle. The vehicle failed to stop and led officers on a high speed chase, eventually reaching speeds of 80 mph on local freeways.
Police chased the vehicle into the area of Acalanes High School in Lafayette, where two suspects exited the vehicle on foot. Acalanes High School was placed on lockdown after a suspect was seen running onto campus and into the school’s gymnasium.
Both suspects were eventually apprehended. One was taken into custody after he barricade himself inside a Acalanes High School bathroom. With the assistance from several surrounding law enforcement agencies, the second suspect was ultimately arrested after he was located hiding in a nearby backyard.
The campus lockdown was lifted and students resumed normal activities minutes later.
Authorities say the suspects are likely responsible for various other theft and property-related crimes in the surrounding area.
The suspects are identified as Charles Parks, 34, of Martinez and Jeremiah Mercure, 35, also from Martinez. Parks was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, evading, and possession of controlled substance. Mercure was charged with burglary and identity theft.
Police are still investigating the duo’s link to other crimes in the area.