Female half of two-state crime duo gets 3 to 8 years in Pa. prison

Posted: October 02, 2013

SHAYNA SYKES, the female half of a crime duo that stole two police cars in one day in March and led cops in Camden and Philly on a high-speed chase, was sentenced yesterday to three to eight years in a Pennsylvania prison.

Sykes, 24, fighting back tears and pleading for a nonprison sentence to be with her baby daughter, tried to explain her March 4 actions before Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich issued the sentence.

"The guilt and the shame that I feel for my crimes will forever haunt me," Sykes said as her 14-month old daughter, Zoey, cooed in the background. "My remorse is a constant that will never go away," added Sykes, who blamed her troubles from the "haze" of drugs.

She pleaded guilty in July to aggravated assault, DUI, car theft and related counts. Her boyfriend, Blake Bills, 25, has a court hearing Thursday, at which time he may also choose to plead guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Guy D'Andrea said the court would be doing the baby a favor to keep Sykes away. He noted she had three DUI convictions before the March crime spree.

"A five-year sentence would give the child a head start of not being raised by someone high on heroin," said the prosecutor, who accused the defendant of using her child to attempt to manipulate the judge's decision.

Defense attorney Geoffrey Kilroy said Sykes suffers from histrionic personality disorder, which is marked by a pattern of excessive emotions, attention-seeking, seductive behavior and an excessive need for approval.

"We can save this young lady, we can help her," said Kilroy, who asked that she be provided with drug treatment and therapy.

Sykes and Bills stole the first cop car about 9:50 a.m. March 4, when Bills saw Camden police Officer Sekou Reid-Bey stop a car near that city's police administration building.

While Reid-Bey was talking with the driver he had pulled over, Bills, who was not involved in the car stop, jumped into the officer's unoccupied cruiser and sped away, according to police.

While fleeing the scene, police said, Bills struck Reid-Bey, a 16-year veteran of the force, breaking his leg. He then drove around the corner and picked up Sykes, Kilroy said.

Bills and Sykes sped through Camden and Pennsauken as television-news helicopters tracked them overhead. They crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge before being stopped by Philly police in North Philly, where Bills was arrested.

While cops were detaining him, Sykes hopped out of the passenger's seat of the Camden police cruiser and jumped into the driver's seat of an unattended Philadelphia cop car.

Sykes sped off and barreled down the narrow streets of Fishtown, where she hit three parked cars and a box truck, injuring the truck owner, and caused an elderly woman to fall on her head, police said.

Sykes eventually was stopped in Northern Liberties and arrested. She will soon be extradited to New Jersey to stand trial there, D'Andrea, the prosecutor, said.


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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