Thursday, February 23, 2023

New York Man Leads Police in Pursuit in Stolen Vehicle through Northumberland and Schuylkill Counties

A New York man is locked up in Northumberland County Prison after leading police in a pursuit through Northumberland and Schuylkill Counties.

According to court documents, on February 21st, 2023, around 10:30pm, Northumberland County Communications issued a be on the lookout for a Black Toyota Prius that was reported stolen while parked at the Perkins Restaurant in Mahoning Township near Danville.

Just after 11:00pm, Mount Carmel Police Officer Schauer observed a vehicle matching the description traveling eastbound on Route 54 at the intersection with Brennan's Farm Road near Locust Gap.

The officer continued to follow the vehicle, when the driver, later identified as Jonathan Elias, 41, of Webster, New York, began to pass vehicle's illegally in a double yellow.

Police continued to follow the vehicle into Ashland, while Elias was increasing and decreasing his speed several times and traveling into the oncoming lane.

While on Centre Street in Ashland, Elias hit speeds up to 60 mph, when officers activated their emergency lights to pull him over in the area of Hoffman Boulevard.

Elias continued driving at a high rate of speed down Hoffman Boulevard, to Nater Street and eventually Gordon Road into Gordon.

After making a right onto West Biddle Street, Elias continued at a high rate of speed onto Airport Road, turning onto Route 901, and onto Interstate 81 southbound in Foster Township.

Officers would continue to follow as Elias hit speeds up to 110mph on Interstate 81 until the Pennsylvania State Police were waiting with spike strips at mile marker 95 south of Pine Grove.

Elias would continue approximately another 1.5 miles on 4 blown tires before coming to a stop.

Elias exited the vehicle immediately and was taken into custody by police on the Interstate.

Elias would later admit to Danville Police that he stole the vehicle from the Perkins lot because the keys were left in it.  A bag was also found in the parking lot with Elias's name on it.

Danville Police Officer Saintclair charged Elias with theft of a motor vehicle.

Mount Carmel Township Police Officer Jonathan Rush charged Elias with receiving stolen property, flight to avoid apprehension, recklessly endangering another person, careless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude police, and other traffic offenses.

He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge William Cole of Mount Carmel and locked up in Northumberland County Prison unable to post $50,000 straight cash bail.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 8th, 2023 before Judge Cole.