Unfortunately, car theft is all too common these days. It’s easy to become desensitized to these crimes, but one recent news story stands out for the suspect’s brazenness. An allegedly drunk man broke into a police station in Colorado and stole a marked Dodge Durango Pursuit. But that’s not all. He also reportedly impersonated an officer while responding to a 911 call and led cops on a high-speed chase before crashing the police SUV.
Here’s how it all went down.
The case of the stolen police SUV in Park County, Colorado
On June 20 in Park County, Colorado, 33-year-old Jeremiah James Taylor allegedly broke into a Lake George police substation. There, he found the keys to a marked police vehicle, a 2013 Dodge Durango Pursuit, according to the local NBC affiliate, 9News.
While inside the police SUV, he heard a “domestic violence in progress” call, MSN reported. So he drove to the location and was on the scene before any officers. When they arrived, they saw Taylor, who appeared to be drunk, and told him to step out of the stolen Dodge Durango Pursuit. Instead, he sped off at 110 mph, forcing the officers to give chase.
Eventually, he veered off the road, crashed the stolen police SUV, and tried to escape into a nearby wooded area. The police caught up to Taylor, who was wielding a knife.
They used a Taser, and one officer even fired a gunshot at the suspect. Taylor was injured, but only due to minor, self-inflicted knife wounds. The authorities arrested him and took him to a nearby hospital.
The damages and charges
Reflecting on his department’s stolen police SUV, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said it was most likely totaled after the crash. As for Taylor, he was charged with eight crimes, including multiple felonies and misdemeanors. They were as follows:
- Aggravated motor vehicle theft (felony)
- Second-degree burglary (felony)
- Vehicular eluding (attempting to drive away from a police officer) (felony)
- Impersonating an officer (felony)
- Obstructing an officer (misdemeanor)
- Resisting arrest (misdemeanor)
- Reckless endangerment (misdemeanor)
- Reckless driving (misdemeanor)
Taylor is in jail on a $10,000 bond.
But the suspect isn’t the only one under investigation in this incident. The police officer who fired a shot is also being investigated per department policy.
The Dodge Durango Pursuit is a formidable police SUV
It’s interesting to note that after the incident, McGraw said, “I was surprised the old Durango could go that fast.”
The Pursuit is a specialty line of SUVs that Dodge designed for police officers. Though we can’t comment specifically on Park County’s stolen police SUV, the 2013 Dodge Durango Pursuit packs a V8 engine and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, Automobile Catalog shows. It also produces 370 hp, above average compared to midsize SUVs with V6 engines but below large SUVs with a V8 engine, per data from Auto List.
We know much more about newer models, such as the 2021 Dodge Durango Pursuit. It can hit a top speed of 130 mph, which would’ve sufficed for the 110 mph chase for Taylor. However, the stolen Park County SUV was nearly 10 years old. So it makes sense why Sheriff McGraw would be surprised at how fast it went.