Tallahassee man arrested in relation to police car theft

Published 11:09 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

James Keith LeeMonday afternoon, Bainbridge Public Safety arrested a man in Attapulgus in relation to the patrol vehicle that was stolen Sunday night.

James Keith Lee, 39, of 3166 S. Fulmer Circle, Tallahassee, Fla., turned himself in Monday and was charged with Theft by Taking – Felony and Interference with Government Property.

Lee invoked his rights and refused to be interviewed or say why he stole the patrol vehicle, said BPS Investigator Chris Jordan.

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The patrol vehicle was stolen from the Walmart parking lot around 10:20 p.m. Sunday .

The vehicle was left running and locked. The only way to properly open it is with a key that automatically unlocks the doors when an officer is within a certain distance of the vehicle.

Security camera footage shows a man, Lee, eyeing the patrol vehicle before walking into Walmart. Minutes later, Lee is seen leaving the store and retrieving something from his truck in the parking lot, later found to be a pipe wrench.

Lee busted a hole in the driver’s side window, unlocked the door and drove south on Hwy. 27 toward Tallahassee.

A witness alerted the BPS officer inside Walmart the vehicle was stolen.

BPS investigators found the patrol car empty in Florida north of Tallahassee with the pipe wrench inside.