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Local

Former Morrison woman accused of fleeing police in stolen pickup

Heather N. Stafford
Heather N. Stafford

MORRISON – A former Morrison woman is in Whiteside County Jail on $250,000 bond after fleeing police in two counties in a stolen pickup at speeds that sometimes exceeded 100 mph.

Heather N. Stafford, 29, now homeless, was arrested around 8 p.m. Wednesday at 10th Street and Ninth Avenue in Rock Falls after stop-sticks punctured the white Nissan’s tires, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said.

Prophetstown police spotted the truck, which was reported stolen from Sterling on March 6, around 7 p.m.

When they tried to make a traffic stop, the truck took off north on state Route 78 and got onto Interstate 88, where at one point it hit 110 mph, Whiteside County court records show.

The sheriff’s department joined the pursuit, and the truck got off on state Route 40 in Rock Falls, went through Sterling and on into Lee County, came back through Sterling and finally was stopped in Rock Falls, Booker said.

Sterling, Rock Falls and Lee County departments also were involved.

Stafford, who court records say also blew through the stop sign at the I-88 exit ramp and the stoplight at U.S. Route 30 and 40, both in Rock Falls, is charged with two counts of fleeing to elude police, which carries 1 to 3 years in prison, and speeding.

More charges likely are pending.

A passenger in the truck was not charged, but the investigation is continuing, Booker said.

Stafford was convicted in Whiteside County in 2009 of two counts of theft of something worth more than $300 but less than $10,000, and was sentenced to 2 and a half years’ probation.

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