Trio Leads Pa. Police on Fiery Chase in Stolen Pizza Delivery Car

June 13, 2024
A plan to only steal a pizza turned into a chase with West Lampeter police after two teens and a 20-year-old stole a pizza deliverywoman's car, which caught fire during the pursuit.

Two teens and a 20-year-old robbed a pizza deliverywoman, stealing her car and leading police on a chase through West Lampeter Township, continuing to drive the car even after it caught fire, according to police.

Matthew Daniel Reyes, 20, Xavier Eriberto Velazquez, 18, and Evian Michelle Simmons, (who is listed as 18 in criminal court records but 19 in the county prison's system), all face charges of robbery of a motor vehicle and related charges. Velazquez also is charged with illegal possession of a firearm, and Reyes with firearms and driving violations for the ensuing chase.

According to charging documents, the delivery driver, who works for Papa John's Pizza, drove her red 2011 Hyundai Tuscon SUV to an address on the 100 block of East Vine Street in Lancaster city on the evening of June 6.

When she got out of the car, Reyes, wearing a blue sweatshirt and black facemask, was sitting on the front step of the home and told the delivery driver, "Give me everything you have," according to charging documents. The driver then heard Velazquez pull a gun out behind her.

The woman gave them her cellphone, $20 and the keys to her car. Reyes and Velazquez drove her car away, leaving the deliverywoman, and picked up Simmons, who had initially called for the pizza and was in on the theft, according to charging documents.

West Lampeter Police spotted the vehicle speeding near Kendig Square on Long Lane and Willow Street Pike, where it hit a cement median barrier, according to charging documents. The officer turned on emergency lights, but Reyes, who was driving the car, continued east down Beaver Valley Pike.

The car eventually hit a piece of the road that damaged the undercarriage and caught fire. Reyes did not stop, reaching speeds of 55 to 70 miles per hour in the flaming car. The car eventually circled back and parked in the lot of a Truist Bank at 200 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, according to charging documents.

Police found Reyes driving, Velazquez in the passenger seat and Simmons in the back with a handgun in a bag. Velazquez told police Reyes gave him the gun and he pulled it on the delivery driver, according to charging documents. He also said the initial plan was to just steal the pizza.

Police charged the three June 7.

Reyes is listed in charging documents as homeless in the 17602 area code of Lancaster County, which includes the eastern half of Lancaster city and parts of East and West Lampeter townships. Velazquez is from the 500 block of Manor Street in Lancaster city and Evian the 800 block of El Hatco Drive in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County.

Reyes pleaded guilty May 16 to 17 charges for a series of crimes dating to November 2022, including theft of a motor vehicle, corruption of minors, evading arrest and driving without a license. He was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison. His lawyer declined to comment and did not say why Reyes was free the night of June 6.

Simmons is currently facing charges of receiving stolen property, evading arrest, simple assault, harassment and four other charges for crimes in Lancaster and Berks counties. She is in Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $45,000 bail. Her lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

This is Velazquez's only public criminal case in Pennsylvania. His lawyer, Stephen Grosh, said Velazquez is aware of the serious nature of the charges and will be represented by counsel at all stages of the case.

The three are scheduled for a hearing July 12.


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