New York is a beautiful state to drive through. Last year more than 26 million people enjoyed the scenic beauty along the New York Thruway, but on Sunday a man saw the stretch from Buffalo to Syracuse in a way few do – attempting to escape the law.

While most people were comfortably in front of their TVs watching the NFL’s first weekend, a man in Canada took the opportunity to steal a car, break through a guarded U.S. Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint, and lead police on a 100 plus mile chase through New York. If only more of the Thruway Rest Areas were open – this guy would have stopped much sooner for some Chick-fil-A.

Gone With the Benz

Customs And Border Patrol Keep Watch At U.S.-Canada Border
Getty Images

After stealing a silver Mercedes Benz in Ontario, the driver blew through the Peace Bridge Customs gate on I-90 at the Niagara Falls border at 10:52am. According to State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers informed them of the situation and left the pursuit in their hands. The suspect evaded the troopers at high speed for more than 100 miles, before a trap finally worked.

State Police out of Syracuse set a pitfall on the Thruway around mile marker 335.4 just west of Syracuse. Officers successfully deployed a Stop Stick to puncture the Mercedes’ tires and finally bring an end to the pursuit before anyone got hurt.

Stick-y Situation

A flat tire.

A Stop Stick is a variation on the classic stinger, or spike strip, that shoots small Teflon coated metal quills into a vehicle’s tires that will deflate them slowly over 20 to 30 seconds. The Stop Stick has become standard equipment in most New York State police cars, as classic stingers can be dangerous to officers and other drivers on the road.

The driver was handed over to U.S. Customs officers to be identified and face charges for crossing the border illegally. Improper entry is a zero-tolerance federal misdemeanor, and the suspect could face a fine or prison time on top of any charges in Canada.

You really have to feel bad for the Mercedes’ owner in all of this. It’s bad enough to have your car stolen and tires blown out, but then having to pay all those Thruway tolls? Insult to injury.

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