RICE LAKE, WI -- Two people have been arrested following a chase with authorities in a stolen U-Haul in Barron County.

According to the Rice Lake Police Department, on Monday, January 30, 2023, at approximately 2:33p, the Rice Lake Police Department was alerted via their Block License Plate Readers of a stolen U-Haul van that entered the City of Rice Lake on County Highway O. This vehicle had been listed as stolen by the Eau Claire Police Department. Rice Lake Officers responded along with members of the Barron County Sheriff’s Office. The van was located parked unoccupied in the Kohl’s parking lot, according to the RLPD.

Two males, identified as 25-year-old John Clarke (pictured left) and 33-year-old Luke Shilts (pictured right), were observed exiting the store and getting into the stolen vehicle. Officers attempted to surround the vehicle but were unsuccessful.

A pursuit ensued with the suspects fleeing from officers. The suspect’s vehicle collided with an uninvolved motorist on County Highway O near Decker Drive causing minor injuries to the 2 occupants of that vehicle.

The suspects continued to flee from Officers onto Highway 53 southbound. The Chetek Police Department was able to assist by placing a tire deflation device on Highway 53 near the Chetek exit. The deflation devices were successful in deflating the front tires of the alleged stolen vehicle.

The suspects continued to flee exiting onto County Highway I. The suspects were subsequently apprehended outside of the Village of Dallas without further incident once the vehicle condition was no longer operable.

Luke Shilts was the driver of the stolen van and John Clarke was the passenger. Both were arrested and transported to the Barron County Jail.

Charges were referred to the Barron County District Attorney’s Office against Shilts for Fleeing, Operate Vehicle w/o Owner’s Consent, Hit and Run causing Injury, Retail Theft, Receive Stolen Property (>$10,000), Possession of Methamphetamine, THC, & Drug Paraphernalia.

Charges were referred against Clarke for Fleeing and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Both suspects are on active supervision through the Department of Corrections.

Marshfield Medical Center EMS, Rice Lake Fire Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol also assisted in this incident.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Last Update: Feb 02, 2023 3:15 pm CST

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Crime & Court

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