EDWARDSVILLE — A St. Louis man was charged Friday with three felonies in an Edwardsville area carjacking Sunday.
According to a Madison County Sheriff’s Office press release, Calvin Fletcher Jr., 22, was charged in Madison County Circuit Court with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated discharge of a firearm and armed robbery. Fletcher was in police custody Friday afternoon.
Police said at approximately 3:20 p.m. Sunday, May 22, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the victim of an aggravated vehicular hijacking. The victim told deputies he arranged to meet with an unknown subject, who responded to a Craigslist posting he made related to a car for sale. The victim arranged to meet the subject on the parking lot of a business near the intersection of St. James Road and Moro Road, in rural Edwardsville.
The victim responded to the business at approximately 1:45 p.m. and met with the suspect. The suspect arrived at the business with an unknown female, in what is believed to be a black Ford Mustang.
The victim allowed the suspect into his vehicle, which is described as silver 2006 Chevrolet, Monte Carlo, having a high-end sound system. Shortly after entering the vehicle the suspect produced a handgun, pointed it at the victim and ordered him out of the car. The victim slapped at the handgun, which was pointed at his face and the gun discharged inside of the vehicle. The victim wasn’t struck by the discharged round. The victim fled from the vehicle after the shot was fired. He ran back to the business, where a friend was parked in a second car. As the suspect fled the area, driving the victim’s car, the victim and his friend pursued him. The suspect fled southbound from the scene, to Illinois 159, to Buchta Road, and then southbound onto Illinois 255.
While chasing the stolen vehicle the victim was able to call 911 and report the events. As the vehicle proceeded west onto Interstate 55/70 toward St. Louis, a Fairmont City officer attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect fled from the pursuing officer at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Because of concerns for other motorists’ safety, the officer terminated the pursuit. The suspect continued west over the Poplar Street Bridge into St. Louis.
On Thursday, sheriff’s investigators following up on information developed from news coverage of this incident were able to identify the suspect and recovered the victim’s vehicle. The facts of the case were presented to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office this morning, who prepared the criminal complaint and warrant against Fletcher. The warrant was issued by Judge Kyle Napp, who set Fletcher’s bond at $250,000. Fletcher is a fugitive and his whereabouts are unknown.
Anyone who has information related to the investigation is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at one of the following numbers:
618-692-4433 (Dispatch Center)
618-296-3000 (Anonymous Tip Line)
“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to once again warn individuals from meeting strangers in random areas to purchases or sell items listed in online publications,” Capt. T. Mike Dixon said in the press release. “The dangers associated with this type of activity are obvious, and evident in this incident. Events such as this are the reason the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and other police departments throughout the St. Louis region have established internet purchase exchange sites. The public must keep in mind that they don’t truly know who they are meeting, and what their actual motives are. Remember, all of these meetings involve at the very least money, and/or something of value, which are the two motivating factors in every criminal act. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation; simply choose to meet the buyer or seller at your local police department.”