Man Steals Two Cars, Runs Over 92-Year-Old Woman: Police

Justin Vantichelt was arrested in Joliet, two hours after he took the elderly woman's car and took cops on a high-speed chase, police said.

Justin Vantichelt
Justin Vantichelt
A Crest Hill man stole a 92-year-old woman's car in the Ultra Foods parking lot Sunday morning and then ran over her as he fled in her vehicle, Joliet police said.

Justin B. Vantichelt, 36, of 21217 Lily Lake, was taken into custody after two-hour chase that also involved Crest Hill and Romeoville police, included a crash on Interstate 55 and led to the theft of a second car, Cmdr. Al Roechner said.

Vantichelt began his alleged spree at about 9:55 a.m. when he approached the 92-year-old woman in the parking lot of the 1590 N. Larkin Ave. food store and grabbed her car keys, Roechner said. As he fled in her vehicle, he knocked the woman to the ground and drove over her legs and then struck three other cars, he said.

The woman was taken to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center for treatment. She was cut and bruised, but did not break any bones, Roechner said.

An Ultra Foods employee who witnessed the situation identified Vantichelt as someone they'd dealt with previously for retail theft, Roechner said.

Based on the description of Vantichelt and the car, Crest Hill police were able to pick up his trail at Weber and Renwick roads and followed him down Weber before losing him as he headed onto northbound Interstate 55, he said.

Romeoville police joined the chase there, following him until he crashed at I-55 and Route 53 and fled on foot, where officers lost him again, Roechner said.

Vantichelt spotted a man getting into an SUV on Route 53 and even though the victim punched him several times, he was able to get the man's keys and flee in his vehicle, Roechner said.

Crest Hill police picked up his trail again as Vantichelt drove on Route 53 toward Joliet, but lost him as he headed into the area near Hutchinson and Center streets, he said.

By that point, Joliet police knew he had been staying with a female friend at the Star Inn at 2219 W. Jefferson St., Roechner said. They spotted the SUV parked on Oneida Street, behind the motel, and spotted Vantichelt in the parking lot, where he was taken into custody, he said.

Vantichelt had told his friends at the motel that he had gotten his facial injuries when someone attacked him and stole his cell phone, Roechner said. Police recovered Vantichelt's phone inside the 92-year-old woman's vehicle, he said.

When interviewed by investigators later, Vantichelt admitted to stealing the two vehicles but offered no explanation for why, Roechner said. 

He is being held in the Will County jail on charges of aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery of a senior citizen, robbery of a handicapped victim/senior citizen, aggravated assault and vehicle theft conspiracy.

danderson,derrick November 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM
great. another 36 year old loser. this is the type of people who are a strain on all of us who abide to the laws of the land, and they always will be. no employer would ever hire a scum bag like this. i know i never would. i hope the 92 year old woman makes a speedy recovery. my prayers go to her and her family. and kudos to the man who punched this scum bag justin in the face. too bad he didnt knock justin out.
gary linick November 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM
That is one tough lady. That punk that attacked her is one useless piece of wasted humanity. I hope he is put away for a long time - we can only hope.


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