Suspects accused of stealing children’s books caught after police chase, hit and run crash

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida children’s author was robbed of her precious books.

Her car was burglarized and inside were the prized possessions. But don’t worry, this story comes with a happy ending.

Laura Duksta is a New York Times bestselling author of children’s picture books, 60 copies of which she’d just picked up from the mail. They were packed away in two different boxes, which she left in her car outside her Bayshore Drive apartment, in Fort Lauderdale.

She told Local 10 News that around 4 a.m. Tuesday she heard a noise outside and saw an SUV speeding away.

“Both of my windows were smashed,” she said.

Fort Lauderdale police said they were on the lookout for the SUV, which is believed to be involved in multiple burglaries in the area.

It was spotted around west Lakeshore Drive and officers gave chase, but pulled back when their suspect sped through a red light.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter was called in for back-up and it followed the suspects’ car into Northwest Miami-Dade, where it blew through another red light and caused a crash.

“I was coming across and he smacked me,” said crash victim Dwight Hodge. “17th Avenue and 87th Street here, and the guy ran the light and apparently he was running from the cops.”

Two men inside the SUV bailed out of the vehicle and began running but police eventually took them into custody.

About that time Duksta received a call that her books had been recovered.


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