Exclusive: Three stolen cars, two men arrested, one dangerous police chase

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 8:15 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Three cars, all stolen from one Howard home this weekend, lead to a dangerous wrong-way chase on the interstate and the discovery of multiple stolen items.

Investigators now say the two men they arrested may be linked to other vehicle break-ins this weekend, and are also working to see if they’re connected to a string of break-ins and stolen cars in the last several months.

Dash cam video captures a police chase with one of those stolen cars.

”We had spike strips set up right here, but he managed to avoid them,” describes Brown County Sheriff’s Patrol Captain Dan Sandberg, as he plays the video on his screen for us to see.

The dashcam video of a police pursuit early Sunday morning shows a stolen car driving the wrong way on Interstate 41, in snowy weather.

It seems to last a lot longer than the six minutes it actually was as Sandberg re-watches it.

Half-way through the pursuit, you can hear the sergeant behind the wheel exclaim, “Woah! Woah!” as the stolen car in front of him narrowly misses a head-on crash with a semi.

”It’s a no-win situation for us because of his behavior,” explains Sandberg.

That behavior, investigators say, started about a half hour earlier in a Howard neighborhood.

”We got a call from some people that their cars had been stolen,” says Sandberg. “We actually had three cars that were stolen in a driveway because the keys were left inside the vehicles.”

With the help of OnStar, Green Bay Police quickly found two of the stolen cars abandoned near Green Bay West High School.

The third stolen car was the one involved in the chase, first spotted by the sergeant near West Mason Street and I-41 as it slides into the curb.

The sergeant quickly tries to stop the elusive driver, but it doesn’t work.

”The officer did the right thing and tried to PIT the car, and unfortunately the car went down into the gore area when it spun out and continued, and he (the stolen vehicle driver) made a deliberate action to decide to go the wrong way on the highway,” explains Sandberg.

Still not knowing who is behind the wheel, focus shifts to oncoming traffic maneuvering the snow and limited visibility.

”We were concerned about cars not being able to adequately see that car coming, so that’s why, with the red and blues, it hopefully at least drew their attention to notice and give them  time and opportunity to pull over to the right,” says Sandberg.

As he continues watching the dashcam, he notes the driver made no attempt to get off the road at any exits, and dodged stop sticks and other cars.

Nine miles later, the driver hit the brakes and simply pulled over.

Deputies quickly took 20-year old Rickardo Richards into custody.

Under the seat, inside the car, investigators found a loaded handgun, traced back to Chicago and reported stolen, according to court records.

A search of the car also uncovered several other stolen items, including debit cards, ammunition, another car key and money, according to court records, and all are believed to be taken from homes in that Howard neighborhood this weekend.

Prosecutors say three people were caught on home cameras in the neighborhood at the time of the thefts.

In the midst of all this, and once Richards was identified as the driver of the stolen car, court records show Green Bay Police went to Richards’ home where they found 26-year old Larry Harmon, sitting in a vehicle and in possession of Richards ID card.

Harmon was arrested for drug possession and referred to the DA’s office on theft-related charges as well.

Both Brown County Sheriff’s investigators and Green Bay Police are now looking to see if the men could be connected to a long list of unsolved cases of thefts from autos and stolen cars.

Green Bay Police have 203 such open cases since June 1, 2020.

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