One person was taken to the hospital, and Lawrence police are searching for several suspects after a vehicle chase ended early Thursday in west Lawrence.
Officers believe the chase is related to a burglary and stolen vehicle reported earlier Thursday in central Lawrence, said Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman.
Sarna gave this account of the incidents:
• Four female residents and two male visitors at a home in the 400 block of West 13th Street heard a noise downstairs at 3:30 a.m. and called police. They saw two men wearing dark shirts run north from the residence.
• Two hours later, police were called back to the area because a car alarm was sounding, and a black Jeep Liberty belonging to one of the burglary victims had been taken. Witnesses observed two men drive off with the Jeep.
• Minutes later, a patrol officer noticed a black Jeep Liberty in the parking lot at Dillons, 1015 W. 23rd.
• The driver — with no passengers — fled, striking the front of a patrol car south of the intersection of 23rd Street and Naismith Drive. Police pursued the vehicle west on 23rd Street, which becomes Clinton Parkway west of Iowa Street.
• Just east of Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive, the driver jumped out of the passenger-side door while the Jeep was still moving. The vehicle struck the back of a Jeep Cherokee, driven by a 42-year-old Overland Park resident, who was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, Sarna said.
• The black Jeep Liberty without a driver eventually struck a tree south of Clinton Parkway.
• The driver who jumped out ran north. He is described as a black man in his late teens to 20s, 6-feet tall, weighing 180 to 190 pounds, and wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans.
Police continue to search for suspects, and no arrests have been made.
Julie Boyle, a Lawrence public schools spokeswoman, said Sunflower School, 2521 Inverness Drive, as a precaution had a staff member standing at the front door monitoring traffic into the building Thursday morning.
Anyone with information in the case can call Crime Stoppers at 843-TIPS.