26-year-old Stephanie Schwab led area authorities on a high speed chase yesterday, prior to her arrest. The arrest ended a two-week crime spree that police have attributed to Schwab.
Fleeing from police after an alleged bank robbery attempt in McLean, Virginia, Schwab was pursued by police on the DC beltway before crashing into another car on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Maryland. Schwab was already a suspect in a series of recent carjackings and robberies in the DC area.
According to WJLA, based on a variety of evidence including video, Schwab had been sought by authorities on charges of first-degree assault, attempted kidnapping and second-degree assault at the time of the McLean incident. The Washington Times indicated that Schwab had pending warrants in Fairfax and Prince William counties.
FoxDC has reported that Schwab possesses a previous record of motor vehicle offenses and significant connections with the MS-13 street gang. In 2005 at the age of 19, Schwab testified in the murder trial of pregnant teenager Brenda Paz, providing detailed descriptions of MS-13 organization and activities in the DC area.
Of the four charged in the Brenda Paz murder, two were convicted and two acquitted. Paz, herself heavily involved with MS-13, was killed in July of 2003, allegedly for cooperating with Federal authorities. Paz was preparing to testify in cases against MS-13 gang members in Virginia and Texas at the time of her death.
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