CROWN POINT | The Lake County prosecutor’s office has filed felony charges against a Tennessee woman who on Thursday allegedly tried to cash fraudulent checks at a Centier Bank branch in Munster and then led police on a chase that ended in a three-vehicle crash in Crown Point.
Jennifer M. Clark, 35, has been charged with felony counts of forgery, fraud on a financial institution, identity deception and resisting law enforcement. Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray signed the charges Friday.
Clark is being held at the Lake County Jail. Bond was set at $30,000.
Munster police Lt. Ed Strbjak said staff from the Centier Bank branch at 9716 White Oak Ave. called police when Clark allegedly tried to cash fraudulent checks from another state at the bank. Clark was leaving the bank as officers arrived at the scene, he said.
The pursuit started about 11:11 a.m. as Clark fled the bank’s parking lot in a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox. Strbjak said Clark led several agencies on a chase that headed east on 45th Avenue, south on Taft Street and ended on 93rd Avenue at 11:42 a.m.
According to Indiana State Police, Clark crashed into two vehicles at 93rd Avenue and Main Street near the Lake County Government Complex in Crown Point.
Police tried to use tire-deflating devices as Clark neared the intersection of 93rd Avenue and Main Street, state police said. She swerved and crashed into a 2006 Honda Civic to avoid the sticks. The Honda was stopped at a red light in the turn lane.
Clark then hit a 2011 Toyota Prius that was stopped in the left lane heading south on Main Street, according to state police. She was arrested by Munster police when her car stopped in the middle of the intersection.
Nearly a dozen police vehicles from Crown Point, Munster, Merrillville and the Indiana State Police were at the scene just before noon Thursday. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter was also involved in the pursuit, Deputy Cmdr. Robert Arnold said.