Thursday, August 6, 2020

Man Wanted for Homicide in North Carolina Leads Police in High Speed Pursuit near Mahanoy City and Interstate 81

A man wanted for homicide in North Carolina led police in Northern Schuylkill County in a pursuit Thursday afternoon.

According to Mahanoy City Police, on Thursday, around 4:00pm, Officer Thomas Rentschler received information from detectives in Iredell County, North Carolina that two people wanted for an ongoing homicide investigation by their department were in Mahanoy City.

The detectives told police that one of the suspects, Christopher Preble, 43, of Harmony, NC had just made a phone call to his mother from the Mahanoy City Library.

The detectives told police the registration and the make of the vehicle he was driving, which was a white Chrysler sedan.

A BOLO was issued throughout Schuylkill County for the suspect, but while patrolling, Rentschler spotted the suspect's vehicle in the borough and began to follow and eventually confirmed it was the vehicle described.

Mahanoy Township Police Chief Brandon Alexander responded to Mahanoy City as well to assist and while following the suspect on East Centre Street towards the Vulcan Hill, the suspect vehicle began to accelerate.

The suspect sped up the Vulcan Hill at speeds up to 90mph before being met by Rush Township Police near the intersection with Morea Road.  Rush Township had to maneuver to avoid hitting the suspect head-on.

The pursuit led to Interstate 81 northbound where the suspect hit speeds up to 120mph while weaving in and out of traffic.

The pursuit led up Interstate 81 until they reached the area of the McAdoo exit when the suspect attempted to pass a vehicle on the left shoulder and lost control spinning several times and spinning up an embankment in the median.

Preble exited the vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident.

Schuylkill County 911 confirmed the Chrysler Sedan that Preble was driving was stolen.

Preble was taken back to the Mahanoy City Police station and later transported and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge David Plachko on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, flight to avoid apprehension, and recklessly endangering another person.

Preble was also arraigned by Plachko on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle from Iredall County, North Carolina authorities.

Plachko denied bail on all the charges and Preble was transported to Schuylkill County Prison to await extradition.

Assisting police departments included Mahanoy Township, Rush Township, Shenandoah, Kline Township, Tamaqua, Union Township, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Story and Photos by J. Reed

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