A 42-year-old Tallahassee man fled from Deputies attempting to stop him after he stole two GPS units from the West Marine store in Islamorada Sunday afternoon.
Lawyer (sic) Jason Thornton fled north, striking another vehicle, from Islamorada, through Key Largo, onto the 18-Mile Stretch and into Miami-Dade County where Florida Highway Patrol and Miami-Dade County law enforcement took over the pursuit.
Thornton will face charges of burglary, possession of burglary tools, property damage and fleeing and eluding in Monroe County. He also will also face charges in Miami-Dade County.
The incident began at 3:45 p.m. when Deputy Eric Viergutz was called to the West Marine, 81984 Overseas Highway, regarding a man stealing items from the back stockroom of the store.
Store employees told Deputy Viergutz that they saw the suspect sliding marine GPS units under a rollup door to the outside. One employee stopped him and he fled. That employee said the suspect was able to make off with two Garmin® GPS units worth a combined $6,698.
Video footage from the stockroom shows the suspect walk in, retrieve a part of bolt cutters from under his shirt, cut the lock on the GPS unit cage in the room and cut the lock to the rollup door to the outside. The suspect is scene sliding GPS units under the rollup door until he is confronted by an employee.
Deputy Viergutz issued a be-on-the-lookout for the suspect’s vehicle, a gray Nissan Armada® sport utility vehicle.
Multiple Deputies spotted the vehicle and followed it, sometimes pursuing it with lights and sirens, as it speed northbound on U.S. 1 toward Miami-Dade County.
Multiple Deputies ceased the pursuit multiple times given traffic and safety concerns.
The suspect SUV hit at least one other vehicle in Monroe County as it fled northbound.
There were no serious injuries reported.
The Sheriff’s Office ceased following the SUV after it entered Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County law enforcement arrested Thorton thereafter.