Vehicle theft suspect leads AST and Fairbanks Police on high speed chase

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska At approximately 10:30 this morning a suspect in a stolen vehicle lead Alaska State Troopers on a high speed chase in Fairbanks and on the Richardson Highway near Badger Road.

According to AST dispatch a patrol trooper observed the stolen vehicle near Rickert Street, driven by a single male occupant and attempted to make a traffic stop. The vehicle failed to stop, taking off. Troopers gave chase; the suspect eluding capture from Fairbanks out to Badger Road and then returning back to Fairbanks, with speeds reaching upwards of 115 MPH.

The Fairbanks Police Department assisted in setting up multiple spike strip locations to disable the vehicle but the driver evaded them by veering off the road. As the vehicle came to the intersection of the Steese Highway and 10th Street in Fairbanks, troopers deployed spike strips and deflated both tires on the vehicle’s passenger side. The driver veered the truck toward the Trooper who deployed the spike strips, forcing the Trooper to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. The truck came to a stop at Trainer Gate Road and Farewell Street and the driver attempted to flee on foot but was quickly taken into custody.

The driver was identified as Josiah William Thurston, 18 of Fairbanks and arrested for Vehicle Theft 1, Felony Elude Evade, Assault 3 on a Police Officer, Criminal Mischief 3, MICS 4, and VCOR.

The stolen vehicle was damaged during the pursuit when it hit a road sign negotiating a corner. No injuries were reported and no other property is known to be damaged. Thurston was remanded to FCC and the vehicle released to the owner