Fla. man arrested in Valdosta after stolen property, carjacking, police chase
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - On Tuesday, a Florida man in Valdosta is facing charges after attempting to use a stolen credit card and fleeing police, causing a wreck, according to the Valdosta Police Department (VPD).
Police said, around 9:30 a.m., officers responded to Walmart on the 300 block of Norman Drive after an employee called 911 to report that a customer was acting suspicious in the store and that he was possibly trying to use a stolen credit card.
While responding, the 911 caller told dispatch that the man fled from the store and was leaving in a vehicle. Police said the caller described the man’s vehicle, which pulled out the parking lot in front of detectives that were in an unmarked car.
Detectives conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, then the offender, later identified as Boyia Unique Bristol, 21, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., took off at a high rate of speed, running the red light at Norman Drive and West Hill Avenue.
After issuing a lookout on the vehicle, police said a 911 dispatcher informed officers that the vehicle was stolen during a carjacking in Florida.
A VPD K9 Unit responded to the area of West Hill and found the vehicle Bristol was driving traveling east towards the Sinny Vickers’ Overpass at speeds over 80 miles per hour.
Police said the K9 Unit turned around and attempted to catch up with Bristol. As the K9 Unit was entering downtown on West Hill Avenue, he avoided hitting another vehicle, ultimately causing the officer to lose control and hit a tree.
Bristol continued driving recklessly through downtown before hitting two vehicles at the intersection of Patterson Street and Hill Avenue. After wrecking, police said Bristol fled on foot. Officers chased Bristol and he was taken into custody at South Lee Street and Savannah Avenue.
He was taken to Lowndes County Jail and is facing several charges:
- Theft by receiving stolen property
- Transportation of stolen property across state lines
- Fleeing and attempting to Eeude
- Driving on a suspended license
- Numerous traffic offenses.
He also had an active warrant out of Florida.
The K9 officer was taken to South Georgia Medical Center to be evaluated. He has since been released. His K9 partner was also taken to be evaluated at Baytree Animal Hospital and has been released as well.
“We are very thankful that the offender’s careless actions did not injure any of our citizens. His reckless disregard for others endangered many innocent citizens. I am proud of the work of our officers to ensure that he was taken into custody,” Police Chief Leslie Manahan.
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