A man accused of leading police in two states on a wild chase involving stolen police cars has pleaded guilty to a burglary charge in an unrelated eastern Pennsylvania case.
The (Easton) Express-Times says 25-year-old Blake Bills entered the plea Tuesday in Lehigh County Court in the August 2012 Macungie break-in. Prosecutors said he stole a computer and jewelry to fuel his heroin habit. His sentencing has been tentatively set for Oct. 24.
He still faces trial in Philadelphia stemming from the March 5 high-speed chase. Prosecutors said Bills and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Shayna Sykes, stole an idling police cruiser in Camden, N.J. and drove into Philadelphia, and Sykes later stole another cruiser. She pleaded guilty to theft and assault charges in July and is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 16.
The crime spree started when Bills was bold enough, police say, to steal the first police car from right in front of Camden's Police Headquarters, where Officer Sekou Reid-Bey had pulled someone over during a traffic stop.
"As [the office] was interviewing the driver of that car, he heard his car door shut," said Camden Police Chief John S. Thomson, on March 4 when the Sykes-Bills crime spree took place.
Initially Sykes and Bills were pursued by both the Camden and Pennsauken Police Departments. They had the advantage of listening to the police conversations over the radio inside the stolen cruiser. The couple headed down Admiral Wilson Boulevard at speeds reaching 100 mph, weaving through Camden and portions of Pennsauken. They then headed over the Ben Franklin Bridge crossing from South Jersey into Philadelphia, where Philly police picked up the chase.
Bills crashed the cruiser in North Philadelphia. While police were trying to apprehend him, Sykes took off in a Philly police cruiser. Police chased her into Northern Liberties where she was cornered and caught as she tried to run, barefoot, from the scene.
Bills and Sykes face charges in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
Both defendants confessed during the early stages of the investigation. They said they were drug addicts and that when Bills allegedly stole the first police car, he did it because the couple was just trying to stay warm.