A police chase over 20 miles and reaching speeds of more than 100 mph early today led to the arrest of two teens accused of trying to steal seven beer kegs from a Town of Lancaster restaurant.
The chase started at about 1:40 a.m., when Lancaster Officer Mark DiPirro said he saw two young men trying to steal the kegs from Don Pablo's Restaurant at Transit Road and Wehrle Drive.
The chase, which led into the Town of Clarence, ended on Tonawanda Creek Road after the teen-agers' vehicle blew a tire and crashed into a tree. DiPirro then managed to catch both the teen-agers after a short foot chase.
Charged with possession of stolen property, criminal trespass and resisting arrest were Scott W. Trimmer, 17, and David Szuga, 19, both of Lancaster. Trimmer also was charged with various traffic counts.
During the chase, a motorcyclist sitting at a Clarence intersection narrowly avoided serious injury when the chased vehicle headed right toward him. He suffered only minor injuries when he jumped off his motorcycle and out of the path of the vehicle, police said.
A Town of Lancaster police cruiser also was damaged in the chase.
DiPirro said the department's policy leaves it up to the shift lieutenant whether to chase a speeding vehicle, depending on factors such as the time of day and the amount of traffic.
Assisting Town of Lancaster police were the Erie County Sheriff's Department, Amherst police and the State Police.