2 accused of stealing thousands in merchandise from Oak Brook stores, crashing into 4 cars during attempted escape


OAK BROOK, Ill. — Pre-trial release has been denied for two women accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from two stores in Oak Brook before striking four vehicles, including two police cruisers during their attempted escape.

Martasia Barney, a 26-year-old Chicago resident, and Psy’che Hayes, a 35-year-old Dubuque, Iowa resident, have each been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.

The charges were handed down following an investigation that began in late June after a woman’s wallet was stolen.

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According to prosecutors, following the alleged theft of the woman’s wallet on June 25, authorities identified two suspects and a Volvo that were believed to have been involved in the incident.

Prosecutors said about two weeks later, on July 8, officers with the Oak Brook Police Department spotted the two suspects, who were later identified as Barney and Hayes, walking into Oakbrook Center from the True Food Kitchen on the northwest side of the mall.

Authorities began surveillance on the duo’s Volvo after officers allegedly spotted the two women carrying empty Forever 21 shopping bags as they approached the shopping center, just before 6:30 p.m.

Prosecutors said the Volvo, which had been backed into a parking spot, had been left running with its lights on.

  • 26-year-old Martasia Barney (right) and 35-year-old Psy’che Hayes (left) have each been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault in connection with an alleged retail theft in DuPage County.

  • 35-year-old Psy’che Hayes has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault in connection with an alleged retail theft in DuPage County.

    35-year-old Psy’che Hayes has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault in connection with an alleged retail theft in DuPage County.

  • 26-year-old Martasia Barney has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault in connection with an alleged retail theft in DuPage County.

    26-year-old Martasia Barney has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of retail theft, two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, two counts of criminal damage to property, and one count of aggravated assault in connection with an alleged retail theft in DuPage County.

As officers were watching the Volvo, prosecutors said they spotted the duo return and entered the car before exiting and returning to the shopping center with the same empty bags.

According to prosecutors, as the two women were returning to the car a second time, an Oak Brook officer approached them in his squad car, but the two ran toward their vehicle and got inside.

The officer activated his emergency lights and sirens and attempted to stop the two women by parking his cruiser in front of their car, but Barney, who was allegedly driving the vehicle, drove the Volvo into the cruiser in an attempt to flee the scene.

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When the officer exited his cruiser and approached the Volvo, Barney Allegedly backed up the vehicle, forcing the officer to jump out of the way.

During the escape attempt, prosecutors said Barney allegedly struck two other nearby vehicles and another police cruiser that had active emergency lights and sirens.

Officers were eventually able to break the windows of the Volvo and took the two women into custody.

According to prosecutors, during her arrest, Hayes allegedly told officers that the incident was “no big thing” and that she “would be out tomorrow.”

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A subsequent investigation revealed that the duo had allegedly stolen around $2,714 worth of clothing from Aritzia and about $3,282 worth of clothing from Alo Yoga.

“The allegations that these two defendants stole nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise from two Oakbrook Center stores and then, in an effort to escape, crashed their vehicle into four other vehicles, two of which were police squad cars, nearly striking a police officer, are extremely alarming,” Berlin said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon. “The denial of pre-trial release for both Ms. Hayes and Ms. Barney sends the strong message that in DuPage County we will not tolerate the complete and utter disregard for public safety and the rule of law allegedly exhibited by Ms. Barney and Ms. Hayes.

During a court appearance on Tuesday, the state’s motion to detain the two women pre-trial was granted.

Both women are set to return to court on Monday, August 5, for arraignment.

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