Investigators ID 'career criminal' who led police on wild chase throughout Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man labeled by authorities as a "career criminal," who led police on a nearly 90-minute long chase through Philadelphia and Montgomery County,was arrested in connection to a burglary spree.

Forty-seven-year-old Howard Seth Jacobson of Philadelphia was taken into custody in the 1000 block of Afton Street in Burholme around 11 p.m. Monday by Philadelphia police on a warrant issued by Abington Township police.

Abington Township Police Department

Authorities believe Jacobson is responsible for over 15 commercial burglaries that occurred over the last few weeks in Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties, including three in Abington Township.

Abington police said most of the break-ins happened during the overnight hours, and a window or glass door was broken to gain entry into the business.

Jacobson is being held in Montgomery County and will be arraigned on Tuesday.

Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy says local authorities have known about Mr. Jacobson for years.

"He had a violent criminal history to include assaults on police officers. Back in 2005, this individual tried to run over a Philadelphia police officer and was shot by Philadelphia police," Molloy said.

Investigators said for several weeks they have been searching for Jacobson. He was spotted in Philadelphia on Sunday, but was able to get away, police said. At least one officer suffered minor injuries when the suspect allegedly crashed his white Honda into the officer's vehicle during his escape.

Investigators said Jacobson has been using the same white Honda to commit crimes.

FULL CHASE: Watch Philadelphia police chase burglary suspect in its entirety

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FULL CHASE: Watch Philadelphia police chase burglary suspect in its entirety

"This individual committed many, many commercial burglaries. He has a history of crashing into police vehicles in his attempt to get away," said Chief Inspector Scott Small with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Police spotted Jacobson again Monday night around 10 p.m. near Abington Township, Montgomery County where he crashed into vehicles while trying to get away from police.

Officers said they decided to follow him from above using their own helicopter.

Chopper 6 was also overhead as police made multiple attempts to bring the man into custody.

The suspect led officers into Philadelphia's West Oak Lane section through Fairmount Park and into Germantown.

Chopper 6 captured the moment Johnson attempted to ram officers with his vehicle near Rising Sun Avenue in the city's Burholme section.

VIDEO: Watch the moment Philadelphia officers arrest suspect after high-speed chase
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Watch the moment Philadelphia officers arrest suspect after high-speed chase on May 18, 2020.

Jacobson was able to flee his car through the passenger side, but an officer was able to tackle him to the ground after a brief foot chase.

The suspect was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated.

Chief Molloy says it is very gratifying to know this man is behind bars.

"The Philadelphia Police Department, Abington police officers, Rockledge and other communities came together on taking this violent felon off the street in a safe manner and it makes me very proud to be part of this profession," he said.

Jacobson has since been formally charged with a list of crimes including 16 counts each of burglary and theft, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and two counts of aggravated assault against a police officer.
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