A woman and her juvenile accomplice were arrested Friday after robbing a Morgan Hill department store, then carjacking a victim when they realized their getaway vehicle left them at the initial crime scene, police said.
The suspects led officers from multiple agencies on a high-speed pursuit that ended in Oakland before the duo were booked on suspicion of a list of charges, Morgan Hill Police said in a press release.
About 7:05pm Jan. 8, Morgan Hill Police were called to a possible burglary in progress at Ulta Beauty, 1015 Cochrane Road. Officers were told that two female suspects had entered the store and were filling large bags with expensive perfume and other products, police said.
Officers also learned that the same two suspects had been involved in a similar incident that same afternoon in Gilroy, where they stole about $6,000 worth of merchandise from the Ulta store in that city, authorities said.
As the first officers arrived to the Morgan Hill incident, they observed a suspicious vehicle leaving the scene. Officers initiated a pursuit that led to northbound U.S. 101, police said. The pursuit was terminated in San Jose due to “reckless and unsafe driving by the fleeing suspects,” the press release said.
Police later determined this vehicle was associated with the two Ulta burglary suspects, but the driver left the women behind at the crime scene, according to authorities.
While the initial vehicle pursuit was occurring, the burglary suspects exited Ulta and noticed their getaway car was gone. The suspects then carjacked and kidnapped an unsuspecting victim, police said. The women made the victim drive them from the crime scene to avoid capture. They traveled northbound on U.S. 101 toward San Jose.
As the driver neared the Bailey Avenue exit, she saw a police car stopped on the side of the road. “The victim realized this was her opportunity to escape and quickly pulled over to flag down the officer,” the press release says.
The two burglary suspects remained inside the vehicle while the victim told the officer what happened. One of the suspects then took over the driver’s seat and quickly drove away before the officer could make contact, police said.
Another pursuit began as the suspects continued north in the stolen car, according to police. The suspects traveled north to Highway 880, with police following. California Highway Patrol officers joined the pursuit, which continued into Oakland.
The high-speed chase ended in the area of 48th and Ygnacio avenues in Oakland. Both suspects exited the stolen vehicle and fled the area on foot, authorities said. Oakland Police arrived and set up a perimeter and searched for the suspects.
Both suspects were located nearby and taken into custody without further incident, police said. Property they had stolen was recovered after the suspects tried to hide it in the backyard of a residence.
Klah Williams, 20, of Richmond, and her juvenile accomplice were transported back to Morgan Hill Police station. Williams was later booked at the county jail on suspicion of armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, theft of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and evading police, authorities said. Williams is suspected of similar thefts throughout the Bay Area.
The female juvenile suspect was booked at juvenile hall on suspicion of similar charges, police said.
The Ulta store in Morgan Hill has been burglarized numerous times in recent years, but the suspects arrested last week were not involved in those incidents, police said. In July 2019, police said the store had been robbed eight times in the preceding months, making off with a total of more than $20,000 worth of merchandise. In each incident, the suspects stole in a similar fashion—by entering the store and quickly loading up shopping bags with expensive items before running outside to a getaway car.