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Hot wheels
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Back in early July, a multi–car accident on Interstate 516 that hospitalized one woman also lead to a destroyed police car and a damaged fire truck.

It was a Sunday morning when the 26 year–old woman was heading eastbound on 516. She swerved into the left lane and sideswiped another vehicle.  The vehicle in the left lane was pushed across the median where it collided with an SUV headed westbound. The woman was cited with failure to maintain lane. Her car and the SUV were destroyed. At the scene of the accident, an officer was driving across the median to stop traffic in the opposite direction. When he stopped in the median to allow a vehicle to pass by, his cruiser became immobilized. Heat from the car set tall, dry grass on fire. The officer attempted to push the car out of the way, but it ignited in flames and burned completely. A second patrol car at the scene was parked in the median when it’s transmission popped into gear and it rolled backwards into a nearby fire truck that was on the scene trying to extinguish the first car, which was in engulfed in flames. The highway was closed for several hours. The traffic division investigated.

• The day after the police car on fire, SCMPD officers carried out a raid on counterfeiters selling fraudulent merchandise at Keller’s Flea Market. Police arrested a man and woman from Florida, seizing more than 1,000 items. More than 35 officers fanned out across the complex, shutting down 10 booths simultaneously. While the flea market remained open, man shoppers were confused and scared. Some shoppers walked away from bags of legally purchased merchandise. Police contacted the owners and attempted to return the items. Among the counterfeit items seized were sunglasses, and various items with Disney or Warner Brothers labels. The counterfeit items are in storage and will be destroyed after the investigation.

• Residents saw two men breaking into a home and immediately called police. It was shortly before 5 p.m. Officer on the scene sent out the description provided by the neighbors, and within minutes officers several blocks away spotted men fitting the description. One of the men was wearing pink shorts, the other was in blue jeans. They split off from one another so officers set up two perimeters. A chase ensued for one of the young men and a passing vehicle struck an officer who was in pursuit of the suspect. The officer was treated at the scene for injuries to his knee and hand.

• A man called police to report that someone had been shooting at him and bumping his car with theirs. Police arrested the young man after discovering that he had fabricated the story in order to explain damage to the car, which was not actually his. He was charged with theft by taking after going to a car dealership, selecting a vehicle for a test drive and never returning. Police were called just after midnight, and they responded to a scene on the Truman Parkway, where they found two men hiding near a tan sedan. They told the officers that they’d been visiting friends when people in another vehicle pulled up, struck their car and then pursued them. During the chase, the mystery assailants also fired shots at the pair. Officers found no signs of bullet marks on the car, found no reports of gun shots in the neighborhood they claimed to have been chased through, and no signs that the vehicle had been driven across a median, as the men claimed.  One of the men admitted taking the car from a dealership and then making up the story.