TREDYFFRIN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) --The suspects behind a dramatic police chase on the Schuylkill Expressway appeared in court Wednesday morning for their arraignments.
All were held in lieu of posting a $300,000 cash bail.
The seven suspects are identified as Sherry Howard, 48, of Baltimore, Maryland; Keenon Seymour, 18, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jeremy Espenshade, 28, of Baltimore, Maryland; Jerome Glinton, aka. "Jerry Long", of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Heather Miller, 29, of Baltimore, Maryland; Jeremy Evans, 40, of Mellow Court, Baltimore, Maryland; and Ashley Hamm, 22, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Police say all seven suspects are members of the Felony Lane Gang; they are from different cities up and down the I-95 corridor.
According to officials, the gang's crime network is notorious for stealing purses and wallets in unattended vehicles and recruiting vulnerable people to withdraw money from the stolen credit cards. Their reach is so extensive, there's a national task force focused on shutting them down.
Police searched the suspects' two vehicles and believe they foiled what could have been a robbery in the making.
"They had a number of items in the car, most dealing with various thefts, identity thefts, driver's licenses and things like that," Tredyffrin Township Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo said. "The fact that they had two cars, one probably a get-a-way car that was rented out of state, and was well overdue, the rental period, and the fact is they were gearing up for something with weapons."
Police have contacted several victims who have confirmed that their belongings were stolen from child care centers and parks.
They have identified victims from Chester County, Bethel Township in Berks County, Royersford/Limerick in Montgomery County, as well as Deerfield Beach in Broward County, Florida.
Action News obtained police dash cam video showing the alleged gang members bailing out of a SUV on the Schuylkill moments before they were captured Tuesday afternoon.
The high speed pursuit started miles away in the parking lot of a Wendy's fast food restaurant on the 100 block of West Swedesford Road in Tredyffrin Township.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities say two firefighters saw a group of people altering license plates, some were in a gray Dodge Journey SUV and others in a black Chevrolet Suburban SUV.
The firefighters called police and that's when the suspects began to make their move.
"They found that these folks that were trying to alter the license plate on the vehicle start to flee. Three of them that were outside of the car ran through the parking lot. They took them into custody," Giaimo said.
While police arrested three suspects on the spot, the driver of the Suburban did not wait around.
"There was a larger black SUV that fled the parking lot as the officers were arriving, impacted one of our vehicles that was coming into the lot attempting to block them," Giaimo said.
The Suburban struck the marked Tredyffrin Police cruiser not just in the parking lot, but also a second time on Swedesford Road at West Valley Road.
Police chased the SUV down Route 202, and then onto the Schuylkill Expressway, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.
A Pennsylvania State Police cruiser was rammed during the pursuit.
The SUV eventually became stuck in traffic and two occupants of the vehicle got out and ran. Both were arrested after a foot pursuit. One of the two ran across all lanes of I-76, over the shoulder, and jumped into the Schuylkill River; he was treated at a local hospital and released back to police custody.
The other two were arrested at the spot the SUV was stopped.
The suspects have been charged with violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code including Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer, Fleeing or Eluding Police, Receiving Stolen Property, ID Theft, Access Device Theft and Criminal Conspiracy.
Police say the gang collectively has over 100 previous arrests nationally.