State police immediately responded to the Whitingham area in an attempt to locate the stolen vehicle.
A state trooper investigating the call checked Merrifield Road and observed a Massachusetts-registered 2008 Toyota Camry quickly turn on its headlights and exit from a driveway on Merrifield Road. At approximately 2:08 am, the trooper attempted to stop the vehicle as it traveled onto Route 100. Police say the vehicle failed to stop and rapidly accelerated southbound toward Readsboro. The vehicle was observed crossing the yellow centerline and traveling at a very high rate of speed.
The Camry led state police through the village of Readsboro and southbound in the direction of the town of Stamford and the Massachusetts border. Massachusetts State Police and North Adams, MA, police were notified of the motor vehicle pursuit and its direction of travel. Massachusetts State Police notified Vermont State Police that they had taken a report of a stolen Toyota Camry from the town of Florida, MA.
Police say the Camry continued to flee and reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. As the pursuit approached the junction of routes 8 and 100 in Heartwellville, the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and the vehicle skidded off the roadway, colliding with several trees.
The operator, who was later identified as Shawn Tripodes, 18, of North Adams, MA, fled from the vehicle and a short foot pursuit ensued before he was apprehended. A passenger, who was later identified as Matthew Rodriques, 18, of North Adams, MA, was located in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Niether was wearing a seatbelt and the vehicle is considered a total loss. According to police the total distance of the pursuit was about seven miles.
Tripodes and Rodriques were transported to North Adams Regional Hospital with non-incapacitating injuries. Heartwellville Towing removed the vehicle from the scene. Police confirmed that the Camry was stolen from a Florida, MA, resident.
Police also found a variety of gift cards, credit cards, a Vermont identification card, and empty wallets inside the vehicle. State police later tracked one identification card to a residence on Route 100 in Stamford. Police say the victim was unaware that these items and cash had been stolen during the night from her unlocked vehicle.
Several other stolen credit cards located are tied to a theft investigation in Adams, MA.
State police also discovered that the residence from which the Camry had fled on Merrifield Road, had been entered. The homeowners, who were home during the night, discovered at 6 am that someone had entered their attached garage and ransacked their vehicle during the night.
While police are still investigating, Tripodes was processed for operating his vehicle under the influence of drugs and issued a citation to appear in Windham Superior Court to answer to the charges of DUI-drugs, attempting to elude a police officer, grossly negligent operation, and possession of stolen property.
Vermont State Police located the stolen 2003 Subaru Forester abandoned in Whitingham on Tuesday, April 9, at about 11:35 pm.