The aborted theft of a case of Stroh's beer touched off an hourlong chase yesterday involving the would-be thieves and officers from three police departments.
According to county police, the incident began about 11:30 a.m. when the driver of a truck delivering beer to Lou's Stop Shop in the 1200 block of Mayo Road in Edgewater saw two men stealing a case of Stroh's beer worth $12.90.
As the driver began chasing the thieves, they dropped the beer and jumped into a yellow 1978 Dodge Aspen with stolen plates driven by a third man, said Lt. Dale Irwin of the Southern District Station.
Irwin said he began chasing the trio down Mayo Road to Central Avenue and into Prince George's County, where both that county's police and state police joined the chase.
The trio got onto U.S. 301 north,but got temporarily stuck in a ditch when they tried to turn around in the median strip, Irwin said.
Irwin said he managed to block them in the ditch. "But he was going to ram my car, so I had to back up."
Meanwhile, a state police helicopter had joined the chase.
The trio, with the police in tow, continued on U.S. 301 north to U.S. 50, through Prince George's County and into Washington before turningaround and heading back down U.S. 50 toward Annapolis, Irwin said.
The driver rammed a Prince George's County police cruiser before the chase finally ended on the exit ramp to U.S. 301, when the driver failed to negotiate the curve and ran into the median strip, Irwin said.
Ralph Eugene Creighton, 37, and David Maxwell Hobach, 19, both of the 3500 block of South River Terrace in Edgewater, were being held yesterday at Southern District Station on charges of theft, Irwin said.
The driver of the car, John E. Cullen III, 32, of the 1000 block of Sun Valley Drive in Cape St. Claire, also was being held thereon charges of fleeing and eluding, driving with stolen license plates and other traffic violations, Irwin said.