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‘Adrenaline rush:’ Witness rams truck into fleeing vehicle, leading to capture of 5 car theft suspects

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BUTLER/MILWAUKEE -- A police chase from Butler to Milwaukee ended in the arrests of five teenagers driving a stolen car. It was the extraordinary actions of a witness that led to the capture of all five suspects.

U.S. Marshals, Butler and Milwaukee police gathered near 92nd and Hampton to investigate a stolen vehicle and the occupants inside Friday morning, March 9. They arrested four of five suspects who fled on foot near the scene.

Suddenly, they were alerted by witnesses that the fifth suspect -- who was hiding at an assisted living facility -- tried to get away as a passenger in a car.

Unfortunately for the suspect, his getaway driver turned directly into the path of police. He was searched and taken into custody.

Police say this started at a Kwik Trip in the Village of Butler. Employees recognized the suspects driving a KIA. The vehicle was known for being involved in stealing gas from that Kwik Trip, as well as other ones in the area.

Andrew Westenberger, a 20-year-old customer inside the gas station, decided to help police.

"I figured I might as well follow them until the cops get there," said Westenberger.

Helping others is nothing new for him.

"Generally I see someone on the side of the road. I'll pull over and help them whether it be a flat tire or engine problem," said Westenberger.

Police say the driver of the stolen vehicle tried to pull a U-turn to escape.

"Instinct. It was an adrenaline rush, I'll tell you that," said Westenberger.

Andrew Westenberger

That's when Westenberger jumped the median and rammed his truck head on with the stolen car, forcing the five suspects to flee. He says the damage his truck endured was worth it.

"It's just minor stuff and I'd rather see people in jail for not abiding by the law," Westenberger said.

FOX6 News blurred the faces of the suspects because they are all minors. Their ages range from 14 to 17. The teens have been connected to other stolen vehicle reports, officials say. Three out of the five suspects had warrants for their arrest that include burglary, retail theft and a gun charge.

Charges from Butler police have been referred to Waukesha County.

While law enforcement appreciates the assistance of the public in a potentially dangerous situation -- it's helpful and worked out this time. However, officials say being a good witness is just as beneficial.

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