2 juveniles arrested after Tuesday night carjacking, vehicle chase that started in East Topeka

A carjacking at an East Topeka gas station turned into a high-speed chase that ended in Lawrence on Tuesday night. (Luke Ranker/The Capital-Journal)

Two juveniles have been arrested in connection with a Tuesday night carjacking and a vehicle chase that started in East Topeka and ended in Lawrence, authorities said Wednesday morning.


The pair, whose identities hadn’t been released, were booked into the Shawnee County Juvenile Detention Center in connection with aggravated robbery, said police Capt. Bryan Wheeles.

Other suspects in the case have been identified but remain at large and were being sought on Wednesday morning, Wheeles said.

The incident leading to the arrests began about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday when an out-of-town woman who had been traveling on Interstate 70 pulled off the highway to put air in her van’s tires at the Phillips 66 service station at 2024 S.E. California Ave.

While the woman was at that location, police said, a group of males stole her vehicle at gunpoint. The assailants then led police on a high-speed chase that reached speeds above 100 mph before it ended in Lawrence, said police Lt. Aaron Jones.

The victim of the van theft told officers she stopped at the Phillips 66 station after she noticed her tire pressure was low.

Near the north side of the store, three men with guns approached her and took her 2015 Dodge Caravan at about 9:40 p.m., Jones said.

The woman wasn’t injured during the carjacking, police Sgt. Hoa Lam said at the scene.

It wasn’t immediately known where the woman was from. However, her van was bearing Colorado license plates.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper located the vehicle at short time later driving east on S.E. 6th near Croco Road and attempted to stop it. The driver sped off, leading the trooper out of the city limits and east on US-40 highway.

The van traveled at speeds between 95 and 110 mph on the two-lane road, which winds up and down hills in rural Shawnee and Douglas counties.

In Lawrence, the pursuit continued onto W. 6th Street. The driver stopped near a Walmart store at 550 Congressional Drive, where Lawrence police and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers arrested two males.

Two other men escaped capture on Tuesday night.

Anyone with information about the incident may call police detectives at (785) 368-9400 or Capital Area Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007.

Reporter Luke Ranker contributed to this report.