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Multi-agency response to apprehend booze thieves turns into rescue mission as temps drop

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PORT ALLEN - A chase that started with suspects stealing merchandise from a convenience store and a manager driving off in pursuit ended with a car driving into the Whiskey Bay woods.

According to the Iberville Sheriff's Office, the chase started when three people stole items from a Circle K gas station in Port Allen. The manager of the convenience store reportedly got into their own vehicle and chased the three before calling the sheriff's office. 

"When we first got in pursuit of this vehicle we had limited knowledge of what actually took place. We knew there was a theft involved. We attempted to stop the vehicle, they refused to stop," said Monty Migliacio with the Iberville Sheriff's Office.

The chase continuing for more than 30 miles and continued into the woods surrounding Whiskey Bay. As the weather deteriorated, the motivation to find the suspects changed.

"We're in the process -- not only are we looking for them for the theft, we're in the process of looking for them for their own safety. Weather is a problem. It's going to be 30 degrees tonight. It's wet. Their chances of survival out here are going to be slim."

WBRZ was told some of the suspects likely evaded police due to having active warrants. Deputies said one person was arrested, another was in custody and then let go. One person is still on the run. 

The Sheriff's Office booked Michael Harris, 36, with aggravated flight, simple criminal damage to property and two counts of resisting arrest. Deputies also said he is a fugitive from probation and parole and was wanted for failure to appear in Maryland on a robbery charge. 


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