Rockford Police Chief Chases Retail Theft Suspect Down Himself

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Two Rockford men are in custody, accused of stealing from a Rockford Target.

One of them almost got away with it.

That is until Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea took matters into his own hands and apprehended a suspect he says tried to escape.

“I just heard officers going to a call,” said Chief O’Shea. “Some suspicious people, or a possible retail theft. And I just happened to be in the area.”

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea talking to us on Skype about chasing down a suspect Thursday evening.

Investigators say 20-year-olds Dajuan Miller and Robert Bolden tried to steal from the Target on East State Street.

As officers tried to take them into custody, they say Miller took off running.

“The individual in the back right seat jumped out, and obviously he was disobeying the commands of the officers who were talking to him,” said O’Shea. “And he took off running. And when he took off running, I took off after him.”

O’Shea caught up to Miller after running for three blocks.

And even though a police chief typically isn’t the one pursuing suspects, O’Shea says he’s still part of the team and will do what’s necessary to bring criminals to justice.

“I’d like to think any police chief would from any department,” he said. “We’re all police. You never stop being a police officer whether you’re the chief, or the deputy chief, or the newest patrolman.  And it’s your job to be a public servant for whatever town or city you’re working for.”

O’Shea likes to lead by example.

And he says he wouldn’t ask his officers to do anything he’s not willing to do himself.

“I just want the officers to know that whatever I’m asking them to do, I will do it myself,” he said. “And at the end of the day, that’s what’s important. We all need to be able to do the job, and we all need to  able to back each other up.”

The suspects are both charged with retail theft.

However, Miller faces an additional charge for resisting a police officer.

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