Shoplifters lead police on chase

Published 4:42 pm Friday, June 28, 2013

What started as a reported shoplifting turned into a high-speed chase Monday afternoon as four suspects led authorities on a chase that spanned more than 30 miles.

According to Greenville Police Department Lt. Justin Lovvorn, authorities received a call at approximately 4:30 p.m. that three suspects were seen fleeing Walmart with a shopping cart full of stolen items. Witnesses saw the suspects toss the items into a car that was waiting at the entrance and speed away from the store.

“They were able to provide us with a description of the vehicle, and an officer on patrol spotted the vehicle getting onto Interstate 65 and heading north,” Lovvorn said. “The officer tried to pull the vehicle over and that’s when the chase ensued.”

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Lovvorn said the chase reached speeds of 115 mph at times before finally ending near the Letohatchee exit.

“We called ahead to (the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office) and the (Alabama) State Troopers and they set up a roadblock near Letohatchee,” Lovvorn said. “When the suspects had to slow down because of traffic and the roadblock they went ahead and pulled over and we were able to take them into custody.”

Jasper Pettus, 19, Judith Pettus, 19, Kimberly Pettus, 30, and a 16-year-old juvenile were charged with theft of property, second degree, for stealing more than $2,400 in merchandise from Walmart, including three computers. The suspects were also charged with attempting to elude a law enforcement officer and reckless endangerment, according to Lovvorn.

“Patrol did a great job of being aware of the vehicle and locating it,” Lovvorn said. “Dispatch did a great job of getting the information out quickly so patrol could do its job. It was just a good job all around with a good result.”

The GPD also arrested two Greenville men on June 18 for a burglary that took place on June 13 at Chip & Ms. Jean’s Gold Buyers & Treasures.

Lovvorn said that following questioning Richard Powell Jr., 20, and Demario Bailey, 30, confessed to stealing three computers, an X-Box, a Playstation 3 and a video surveillance monitor from the downtown store.

Both men have been charged with burglary, third degree, and theft of property, second degree.