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Man accused of stealing elderly couple's car

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

A 22-year-old Marion man was arrested after police said he pulled an older man out of his vehicle and drove away with the man's wife still in the car.

The alleged carjacking took place Saturday night. Marion Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Dorsey said the victims, an 81-year-old man and his wife, told police a young black man asked them for a ride a little before 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The man and his wife let the man, later identified as Kemuel Eliyahu Shem, into their silver 2017 Chevrolet Traverse and began driving.

Shem then asked to be let out, according to the victim's testimony.

According to Dorsey, Shem got out and opened the driver's side door, pulling the 81-year-old man out of the car in an attempt to take the vehicle.

“Mr. Davis attempted to fight the suspect however was shoved down on the ground,” Dorsey said.

“The suspect then took the vehicle with Mrs. Davis still in the vehicle,” Dorsey said.

Around a block later, according to Dorsey, Shem stopped the car to let the woman out and then drove away.

Officers did not catch Shem until the next day, when an officer reported seeing the vehicle leaving the Walmart parking lot Sunday afternoon.

Officer Max Fischer of MPD pursued the vehicle for about three miles, from the Walmart on South Western Avenue northeast through the city. At one point the vehicle stopped to let passengers out, around Laurel Drive.

The suspect took Boots Street downtown, took a right on Spencer Avenue and then headed north on the Washington Street bridge until it stopped just north of the bridge on Swayzee Street.

The suspect got out of the Chevrolet and tried “to blend in with other pedestrians working on a car in the area,” Dorsey said. But police found him and ordered him to the ground. Dorsey said Shem complied.

Later, police received a tip from a woman who said she had seen a gun tossed out of the Chevrolet during the car chase. Dorsey said officers found a black airsoft gun and a carbon dioxide canister inside the fence at TNT Auto, 3215 S. Poplar St.

Shem's jail records list a Bloomington residence as his current address, 120 S. Kingston Drive, Apt. 9A, but Shem has also recently lived in Marion. He attended Marion High School.

Shem has been charged with strong armed robbery, a Level 5 felony, criminal confinement, a Level 6 felony, auto theft, a Level 6 felony, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, a Level 6 felony, battery, a Class A misdemeanor, unlawful entry, a Class B misdemeanor, and reckless driving, a Class C misdemeanor.

His bond is currently set at $40,005.

Marion police also dealt with a separate vehicle theft incident over the weekend. A man reported a white 2004 Cadillac Deville had been stolen from Greentree Apartments, 411 N. Greentree Drive.

Officers Matt Andry and Kyle Griffith attempted to stop the vehicle as it sat at the traffic light at Spencer and Miller avenues.

The vehicle turned southbound and fled for a short distance before turning into the Country Mark gas station at Second Street and Miller.

The driver, Daniel Christie, 24, Marion, was “initially uncooperative” after he exited the Cadillac, but he was successfully placed in handcuffs, Dorsey said.

Dorsey said the vehicle was returned to its owner, and Christie was arrested and charged with auto theft, a Level 6 felony, possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, a Level 6 felony, possession of a syringe, a Level 6 felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.

Officers also discovered a third stolen vehicle in the Greentree Apartments parking lot while speaking with the original reporter of the vehicle theft. Police ran the plates of a red Ford Escort that was in the parking lot and found the Ford had been reported stolen out of Gas City.

Dorsey said Gas City police had the vehicle towed to Gas City to be processed.