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2 women charged with hijacking car, dragging owner on rural Illinoisroad

Elizabeth Donald, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill. –

Two women are accused of hijacking a car and dragging the car’s owner on a rural Madison County road.

A man was found with injuries to his face, arms and legs near Poag Road and Interstate 255 about 2:41 p.m. Dec. 29. He reported to police that he gave two women he knew as “Melissa” and “Sam” a ride, and they stopped to pick up a man unknown to him in Granite City.

After that, one of the women asked to drive, at which point the man was thrown out of the car. As he attempted to grab onto the car, he was dragged on the road, which caused his injuries, police said.

An investigation by the Metro-East Auto Theft Task Force and Madison County Sheriff’s Department led to Melissa L. Burcks, 36, of Granite City and Samantha K. Martin, 31, also of Granite City.

The identity of the male is unknown pending investigation, according to Lt. Carole Presson of the sheriff’s department.

Both women have been charged with felony aggravated vehicular hijacking, as well as an unrelated charge of criminal damage to property. The car, a 2010 Ford Mustang, was recovered.

Bail was set at $250,000 each for the hijacking charge and $15,000 on criminal damage. Burcks is in custody at the Madison County Jail, while Martin is at large.

Anyone with information about the crime or Martin’s whereabouts should contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at 692-4433.

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