Shoplifting grandmother leads police on high-speed chase

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Sandra Hasselbach

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According to the police report, the incident started when she was accused of stealing Michigan shirts in children's and women's sizes as well as toys and other children clothes.

Hasselbach, 49, ran over a Lincoln Park police officer's foot fleeing the parking lot at Meijer on Dix Road. 

She then took off, driving at a "high rate of speed," Watters said, through stop signs and weaving onto the wrong side of the street. 

After slowing down allowing the 8-year-old grandchildren to roll out, the chase continued. She hit a dead end on St. Johns and 8th Street, then got out and tried to run.

After a brief foot chase, Hasselbach was taken into custody by an officer whom she assaulted. 

Hasselbach has a record including a suspended license, several retail fraud warrants.

"She's been arrested in the past," Watters said. "She was on parole at the time and she had some local warrants, also."

Now she faces charges of retail fraud, child endangerment, fleeing and eluding and assault of a police officer, among others.

"There's been a pattern of her shoplifting, bringing her grandchildren, perhaps giving her grandchildren gifts," said Terrance Shullman, who counsels kleptomaniacs. "And it's abhorrent."

Shullman said Hasselbach's case is extreme.

For somebody like this who is habitual and is putting others in danger physically, this is a different situation," he said. "I don't know what can help this woman. It's really a tragedy, She's probably going to have to do more hard time."

Hasselbach remains in jail until her next court date Jan. 13.

The children were not injured, but told police it was okay, because "Grandma steals all the time."