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Baltimore man charged following police pursuit on I-68

April 19, 2010

HANCOCK -- A Baltimore man faced traffic charges and two theft charges following a police pursuit that crossed the Washington/Allegany county line Sunday night, according to Maryland State Police.

Rodricus Maruise Vonnell Wilkes, 23, of 4505 Bonner Road, Apartment A, in Baltimore, was charged with theft and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, theft of more than $10,000 and less than $100,000, and traffic charges including fleeing and eluding, and driving without a license, police said in a prepared release.

Wilkes was being held Monday morning at the Washington County Detention Center on $20,000 bond.

Trooper 1st Class Robert Care was monitoring westbound traffic on Interstate 68 when he saw a gray Dodge Caravan speeding shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday near the Washington/Allegany county line, police alleged in the release. The speed limit in that area is 65 mph.

Care tried to stop the Caravan, but the van accelerated, police said.

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The pursuit went into Allegany County where, at the M.V. Smith Road exit, which is exit 64, the van missed a curve and went off the road, police said.

The driver and passenger got out and ran, police said.

The driver was apprehended moments later by assisting units as he tried to cross I-68, police said.

State police from the Cumberland, Md., barrack, along with a state police helicopter and a Maryland Department of Natural Resources canine unit searched for the passenger, but could not find the person, police said.

The Caravan had been reported stolen through Baltimore City Police in early April and the driver was wanted on an outstanding Circuit Court failure to appear warrant on drug charges through the Baltimore City Sheriff's Department, police said.

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