A chase up Interstate 95 in Southside Jacksonville on Monday afternoon at speeds of up to 110-mph ended when a trooper used the PIT maneuver to stop the fleeing Jeep at Butler Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Now two women and a man are behind bars on various charges after the chase, started when troopers learned of a theft from the Ralph Lauren store at the St. Augustine Outlets, the Highway Patrol said.
“No longer a hazard to the public,” the Highway Patrol tweeted with video. “Reckless and complete disregard to public safety while trying to escape. Troop G ended pursuit with PIT technique to protect other drivers on roadway.”
Troopers learned about the theft of merchandise valued at more than $2,000, then spotted a compact red Jeep heading up Interstate 95, the Highway Patrol said. As troopers pursued the Jeep north on Interstate 95, it sped up. It weaved in and out of traffic as it went under Old St. Augustine Road, then onto the shoulder to get around other cars, as seen in one trooper’s dashcam video.
The case ended as the Jeep was spun into a Butler Boulevard guardrail, one man seen jumping out a back door and running with something under his right arm before he was also caught, the Highway Patrol said.
The three could be connected to other high-end retail store thefts in the weeks before Christmas, the Highway Patrol said. That could include a 5 PM Sunday theft at the Bealls store at 12200 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Two men and two women walked into the store and stole 21 various Louis Vuitton and Gucci purses and handbags valued together at about $18,000, the police report said. They fled ran to a black Chevrolet Equinox and a silver sports car, possibly a Chevrolet Camaro, then sped north on San Jose Boulevard, the report said… The Florida Times-Union