Illinois couple allegedly steals way across WI, try running acro - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Illinois couple allegedly steals way across WI, try running across highway to elude police


Jackson County (WQOW) - A couple from Illinois is accused of trying to run from police in Jackson County after a string of crimes throughout Wisconsin.

Thomas Budasz and Jennifer Keller were pulled over on June 2 along Interstate 94. The State Patrol said their vehicle and the boat attached were believed to be stolen.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office was called in because a 6-year-old girl with special needs was in the backseat. She was eventually turned over to the Jackson County Department of Health and Human Services.

A search of the vehicle turned up a safe, burglary tools, purses, wallets, bags of money and drug paraphernalia.

While officers continued their search, they said Budasz and Keller, who were handcuffed, were able to escape and run across the interstate. They were caught before they could get past the median.

Through the investigation, deputies learned the car was stolen from Illinois, the boat from Juneau County and the couple had items from an Adams County burglary.

Cash bond was set for both suspects at $5,000. They return to court on Monday.

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