What it takes for Davenport Police to chase a stolen car

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC)- Davenport police have chased three stolen cars in the last week, two of those chases ended in crashes.

A total of 10 people have been taken into custody, all 10 were under the age of 21. Six of them were juveniles.

TV6 rode along with Davenport Police last Fall and Winter in our nine-month long investigation into the juvenile car theft epidemic in our area, to see when police decide to chase.

Davenport Police only chase cars in cases of forcible felonies, gun crimes, or if the driver is on a specialized list. Plus, the shift commander on duty must approve the officer's request to chase. Police we've talked with over the last year say their rules are similar.

"The reason the pursuit was involved was because we believed it was involved in a gun crime," said Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski on scene of Tuesday's chase.

Both chases in the last seven days started as shots fired calls. Tuesday's chase ended after a Ford explorer ran into a tree in the McClellan Heights neighborhood.

"We pursued it through the city," he said on scene. "It ended up crashing here in this location where we took four subjects into custody."

The other chase happened last Thursday morning. it started as two cars shooting at each other and ended with a crash in the 200 block of Harrison. The car had hit a concrete wall of a downtown parking ramp.

"There is some minor damage to the building," Chief Sikorski said. "It wasn't a major crash."

Now, almost a year after all local police departments held a press conference to tell the public to lock their car doors, they're stressing the same reminder.

"If I sound frustrated with it, it is a little frustrating," said Chief Sikorski. "It's not just frustrating for our officers, but our community members who are being responsible with their vehicles."

Also, Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington tells TV6 that the car that was stolen from a Bettendorf Neighborhood was locked, but a nearby car was unlocked and had the locked car's keys inside.

The owner of that vehicle told TV6 on Wednesday that both cars were locked and no keys were inside. But, Chief Redington says that was not the case and there is no sophisticated way these teenagers are breaking into cars.