***UPDATE 10:23 P.M.***Two men on the run from police caused mayhem on I-70 in Columbia Sunday. After getting away with catalytic converters, the suspects took off at high speeds all the way through Cooper County. Police stayed behind the men, but the men managed to get away. Police are not calling the situation a chase, even though the men were going around 90 miles per hour. Police said with the rainy weather, officers didn’t want to follow fast and put anyone else in danger.It all started on the Business Loop at Calvin Motor Company where the two men sawed off two catalytic converters. A man was working at the time and spotted the pair committing the crime on his lot. He immediately called 911 and took down the license plate number. It was traced back to Kansas City. One officer got on scene, but when the men saw him, they took off.The suspects left the car lot and went straight through an intersection on the Business Loop and continued weaving at high speeds through traffic. That’s when police tried to pull them over.One witness said, “He turned his lights on at the stop light all the way down, I mean it was a high speed chase all the way down the Business Loop there until they hit 70.”Police decided the risk of other drivers’ safety was too high, so officers alerted other agencies and backed off. The men pulled on the edge of the I-70 in Cooper County and changed their license plate. Although cops were watching at the time, they said it was too dangerous to make an arrest near speeding cars.The suspects could only be described as two black men wearing black stocking caps. They were last seen driving a newer red Chevy Monte Carlo. The Highway Patrol is keeping an eye out for the suspects.Police said as the temperatures get warmer there tends to be a spike in people stealing catalytic converters. Officer said typically people travel from outside places, like Kansas City, to steal catalytic converters. According to officials at Calvin Motor Company catalytic converters are currently selling for over 100 dollars.***UPDATED 4 P.M.***Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Sunday afternoon that troopers were looking for suspects involved in an incident in Columbia who then took off along I-70.Initial reports indicated that the suspects had fled a traffic stop in Columbia by driving westbound at high rates of speed on I-70 into Cooper County. Columbia police Sgt. John Gordon told ABC 17 News the two black males had been spotted trying to steal catalytic converters from Calvin Motor Company on the Business Loop just before 3 p.m.When police tried to make a traffic stop as the suspects left the parking lot, they took off onto I-70 westbound reaching speeds near 90 miles per hour, almost causing a crash and weaving in and out of traffic. Gordon said officers did not engage in a high speed pursuit because of the amount of traffic on I-70 and the weather conditions. Instead, officers followed and radioed to deputies ahead. When police slowed, Gordon said, the suspect vehicle finally slowed and stopped weaving.Troopers and other responding deputies lost the trail of the suspects somewhere near mile marker 111, but were continuing to search for the suspect vehicle between Columbia and Kansas City.An ABC 17 News crew at the scene reported seeing Columbia police and Highway Patrol gathering evidence near mile marker 111, including a discarded license plate.Sgt. Gordon said the suspect vehicle had pulled over on the shoulder to ditch the plate, but took off again before an officer could safely stop to make an arrest. All agencies along I-70 between Columbia and Kansas City have been notified of the suspect vehicle description.Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for updates on this developing story.
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