Retail theft leads to police chase, crash near IR Mall


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Several people were hurt after a retail theft suspect led police on a chase, crashed into another vehicle and fled from the scene Saturday afternoon.


Indian River County deputies detained the man behind the Indian River Mall. The man’s identity was not immediately available.

Two children in the man’s vehicle – a white Chevy Sedan – were not hurt, Indian River County sheriff’s spokesperson Maj. Eric Flowers said. But, a woman in the vehicle was hurt.

Two adults in the second vehicle – a black Hyundai carrying a U-Haul trailer – were also hurt. Everyone that was hurt had non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.

The man was expected to face charges from Sebastian police including aggravated assault, retail theft and fleeing and eluding, police Lt. Tim Wood said. More charges from Sebastian police were expected.

The man will also face charges from the sheriff’s office, including leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and resisting arrest without violence, Flowers said.

The incident unfolded about 5 p.m. Saturday when Sebastian police responded to a retail theft at the Sebastian Walmart, Wood said. Details on the stolen items and monetary value were not immediately available.

The man then fled in the Chevy Sedan, Wood said.

Officers chased the vehicle down U.S. 1, though it was unclear how fast the Chevy was traveling. An officer tried to deploy stop sticks, but quickly moved after the vehicle traveled toward his direction.

“The officer had to get out of the way,” Wood said.

Police officers eventually called off the pursuit while deputies shut down intersections. The Chevy traveled southbound on 66th Avenue when it crashed into the Hyundai at 26th Street, Wood said.

The man then ran on foot into a wooded area behind a canal near the Indian River Mall. A helicopter tracked the man, leading patrol deputies to his location, Flowers said.

Deputies detained the man, who was taken to the hospital for treatment. The man will be charged upon his release.

No further details were immediately available.


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