Former Morrison woman accused of fleeing police in stolen pickup

March 21, 2019

MORRISON – A former Morrison woman is in Whiteside County Jail after fleeing police in two counties in a stolen pickup at speeds that sometimes exceeded 100 mph.

Heather N. Stafford, 29, now homeless, was arrested around 8 p.m. Wednesday at 10th Street and Ninth Avenue in Rock Falls after stop-sticks punctured the white Nissan’s tires, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said.

Prophetstown police spotted the truck, which was reported stolen from Sterling on March 6, around 7 p.m.

When they tried to make a traffic stop, the truck took off north on state Route 78, got onto Interstate 88, where at one point it hit 110 mph, got off on state Route 40 in Rock Falls, went through Sterling and on into Lee County, came back through Sterling and finally was stopped in Rock Falls, according to Booker and Whiteside County court records.

Stafford, who court records say also blew through the stop sign at the I-88 exit ramp and the stoplight at U.S. Route 30 and 40, both in Rock Falls, is charged with two counts of fleeing to elude police, which carries 1 to 3 years in prison, and speeding.

More charges likely are pending. Bond is expected to be set this afternoon.

A passenger in the truck was not charged, but the investigation is continuing, Booker said.

Stafford was convicted in Whiteside County in 2009 of two counts of theft of something worth more than $300 but less than $10,000, and was sentenced to 2 and a half years’ probation.