Police in Florida have charged three teenagers in connection with the theft of an SUV, a series of car burglaries and a high-speed pursuit. The pursuit ended with an accident that claimed the life of a 67-year-old man. The alleged vehicle burglaries took place in Tampa on the morning of Oct. 7, and the accident occurred in Polk County.
Parked cars burgled
The series of events began at about 12:30 p.m. when emergency operators began receiving calls about individuals in a white SUV who were stealing items from parked vehicles. One of the items taken was a firearm according to media reports. One of the callers provided the license plate number of the SUV, which the Tampa Police Department discovered had been reported stolen in Kissimmee. The pursuit began when the SUV was spotted on Melbourne Boulevard and police attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
FHP uses helicopter to track stolen SUV
The Florida Highway Patrol joined the pursuit, and a helicopter was used to keep track of the SUV after it joined eastbound traffic on Interstate 4. The pursuit came to an end when the SUV was involved in a four-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 192 after exiting Interstate 4. A man who was behind the wheel of a pickup truck struck by the SUV was pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital.
Resisting the impulse to flee
The urge to escape can be strong when individuals are worried about auto theft charges and possibly spending years behind bars, but attempts to elude law enforcement almost always make an already dire situation even worse. Fleeing police is rarely successful and usually leads to additional charges and harsher sentences, which is why experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise their clients to pull over when directed to do so no matter how grim their situation seems.