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Intoxicated couple steals car, crashes into convenience store
Suspects' identities not yet released
crime scene cuffs

A man and woman in a stolen car that crashed into a convenience store Monday morning were too intoxicated to be completely booked into the Bulloch County Jail.

The couple, whose identities had not yet been released Monday evening, had stolen a car from an Eagle Villas tenant around 7:15 a.m. Monday, said Statesboro police Lt. James Winskey. The car had a tracking device, and when a lookout was posted, Georgia State Patrol Post 45 Commander Sgt. Brad Mosher located the suspects on Highway 301 North near Screven County, Winskey said.

Mosher gave chase, and when the suspects drove back into Statesboro, Bulloch County sheriff's deputies, Statesboro police and members of the Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team joined in, said sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins.

The stolen car crashed into a convenience store on Highway 301 North near the Mill Creek bridge, but the couple continued on to Lynda Drive, where officers utilized the PIT maneuver, or precision immobilization technique, in which an officer uses his vehicle to bump a fleeing suspect's car to force it to stop, Akins said.

Akins said all three law enforcement agencies were working together Monday to determine details of the theft, chase and various other charges, including for drugs. The suspects were under the influence of an undetermined substance and were unable to cooperate with booking procedures and questioning Monday, he said.

No injuries were reported, but damages to the stolen car, as well as two sheriff's patrol cars and a police patrol car, were sustained in the chase and PIT maneuver, Mosher said.

Winskey said Detective Ben Purvis is handling the city case, and the couple will be charged by Statesboro police with theft by taking a motor vehicle.

Traffic violation charges will be issued by the Georgia State Patrol, and other possible charges will be filed by the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office, Mosher and Akins said.

Further details will be published Wednesday after charges are filed and the suspects are identified.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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