Suspect charged in car thefts

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Saturday, Bainbridge Public Safety officers arrested a 16-year-old boy suspected of stealing three autos toward the end of last week.

The juvenile suspect was arrested late Saturday afternoon after police caught him driving one of three vehicles reported stolen between July 14-16, according to BPS Investigator Mark Esquivel.

At about 4 p.m. Saturday, BPS Officer Shannon Dunaway responded to a woman’s complaint that she had parked her car in the parking lot of the Grocery Outlet on Scott Street and when she came out of the store, it was gone.

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At about 4:40 p.m., Sgt. James Dollar notified Dunaway that the woman’s Mercury Marquis had been spotted in the area of S. West Street. Dunaway drove there and spotted it, however, as he turned around to attempt a traffic stop, the juvenile sped up, turned onto the U.S. 27/84 bypass and took off at a high rate of speed, according to an incident report.

The juvenile exited the bypass at the Tallahassee Highway exit, where he was blocked in by Sgt. Dollar and Dunaway, who took the young driver into custody without incident.

The juvenile was charged with theft by taking a motor vehicle, driving without a license and not wearing his seatbelt.

Investigator Esquivel said he interviewed the suspect, who told them where the other two stolen autos could be found. One vehicle was abandoned in the Wal-Mart parking lot, while a pickup truck taken from a Shotwell Street business on Friday was found in Leon County, Fla.