A Kankakee County circuit judge set bond at $75,000 on July 14 for a man arrested last week on charges of stealing multiple vehicles allegedly including those of several local businesses.

Zachary M. Palmer, 21, of Wilmington, was arrested by the Tri-County Auto Task Force and charged with theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. 

The Illinois Department of Corrections had a warrant for his arrest.

According to police, Palmer was on parole after serving time for multiple motor vehicle thefts. Palmer had been in IDOC custody from April 21 to June 2.

Grundy County court records indicate Palmer pleaded guilty in December 2018 to three counts of motor vehicle theft.

According to police, at 6:37 a.m. July 12, Kankakee County sheriff’s deputies took a report of the Denali being stolen from a subdivision on Route 113.

The owner told deputies he left the vehicle unlocked and the keys in it.

Using OnStar, the owner was able to track his vehicle’s location to the Coal City area in Grundy County, police said.

According to police, Palmer led officers from multiple agencies on a chase in a stolen GMC Denali Monday morning in Grundy and Will counties before crashing into a school bus at the intersection of Illinois Route 113 and Warner Bridge Road in Kankakee County. There were no children on the bus.

The chase began in Coal City when Grundy County sheriff’s deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop but Palmer refused to stop, according to police.

 The pursuit went through Diamond, Braidwood Custer Park on Route 113. 

Palmer rammed his vehicle into a Grundy County sheriff’s squad, according to police reports.

Palmer’s mother, Shannon L. Palmer, 39, was a passenger in the stolen vehicle, police say. She was transported to a Kankakee hospital for treatment.

Herscher’s David Ruder, Jeremy Mitchell, and Mike Scanlon all had vehicles and/or property allegedly stolen by Palmer. 

In addition, a Tobey Construction vehicle remains at large. Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for a 2007 Blue Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup that was allegedly also stolen during Palmer’s spree.