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WINFIELD — A 27-year-old Griffith man suspected of shoplifting in Valparaiso was taken into custody Monday night after leading police on a pursuit that ended when he drove off the road and became stuck in mud in the Stonegate subdivision, police said.

Valparaiso police were dispatched to the Walmart off U.S. 30 at 10:13 p.m. for a report of a man who stole two large-screen TVs and was leaving the parking lot, Sgt. Michael Grennes said.

An officer located a silver Ford Escape with a TV sticking out of the back of it near Penna Hill Drive and Sturdy Road, he said.

The officer attempted to stop the Ford, but the driver sped off south on Sturdy. The officer continued to attempt a traffic stop for about a mile but decided to end the chase because it was too dangerous to continue, Grennes said.

The driver was traveling at 70 mph in a 30 mph zone, and the area is hilly, he said.

The man later struck a vehicle on Division Road in Porter County and continued driving, Winfield Town Marshal Dan Ball said. It was unclear if anyone was injured in the crash.

Winfield police joined the pursuit when the man entered their jurisdiction near East 101st Avenue and County Line Road, Ball said.

The man drove off the road at a construction site and became stuck in the mud near 123rd Avenue and Randolph Street in the Stonegate subdivision. He was arrested and taken to a local hospital.

Winfield police were working with Valparaiso police and the Porter County Sheriff's Department to determine charges, Ball said.

The man was accused of stealing a 55-inch TV and a 39-inch TV, valued at $368 and $200, respectively, from the Walmart, Grennes said. Valparaiso police had the license plate number for the Ford and surveillance photos from the man from Walmart, he said.

Valparaiso police forwarded two counts of reckless driving against the man to the Porter County prosecutor's office for review, he said.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.