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Chase ends with arrest; suspect caught after Lexington police start search for purse snatcher

By Shavonne Potts

Salisbury Post

A man led law enforcement officers on a high speed chase through two counties Friday, causing collisions along the way before a crash ended his run in Salisbury.

The man, whose name has not been released, is said to have been wanted for a series of purse snatchings in the Lexington area.

Sometime before noon, Lexington police officers began chasing the man on Interstate 85 near mile marker 88.

“An officer initiated a traffic stop, but the subject didn’t stop,” said Lexington Police Capt. Tad Kepley.

Kepley said the man apparently snatched a woman’s purse earlier in Archdale, and officers were looking for him.

Kepley said at least four other purse snatchings were reported, but he wasn’t sure if any type of weapon was involved.

“He had previously assaulted a female in a robbery,” he said.

The man was traveling with speeds up to 100 mph while on the interstate.

Kepley said N.C. Highway Patrol Troopers joined in with a helicopter to track the suspect.

“All of the information shows he acted alone. He was the only person in the vehicle,” Kepley said.

Officers from Lexington, Davidson County Sheriff’s Department, the Highway Patrol and Archdale followed the suspect who eventually sped down Innes Street.

Salisbury Police officers picked up the chase, following the suspect from Innes Street to Boundary Street and then Fisher Street, where the driver caused a collision, said Salisbury Police Lt. Rory Collins.

The suspect then turned onto Long Street, drove a few blocks to Bank Street, where he caused another crash with a vehicle at an intersection.

He drove down South Main, ending up at Klumac Road where he caused yet another collision.

“The suspect lost control and went through a fence. He ran and was apprehended by the Highway Patrol,” Collins said.

The suspect crashed the silver Toyota Camry into a chain-linked fence just before the intersection of Kentucky and Klumac across from Dickson.

He ran behind JR’s Auto and Truck repair shop nearby.

Jennifer Lancaster of Kannapolis said she and Lisa Humphreys of Landis were heading down Klumac Road when the suspect whipped passed them.

“I was just going to the bank and getting ready to cross the railroad tracks when he came out of nowhere,” said Lancaster, who works at the Post in the prepress department.

She noticed in her rearview mirror that the driver was barreling down toward her.

Lancaster said she didn’t have time to move over.

“He barely missed us,” Humphreys said.

Lancaster and Humphreys estimated the driver was traveling between 70 and 80 mph.

“The car was going so fast I couldn’t see what kind of car it was or whether it was a man or woman. It was blur,” Lancaster said.

As soon as she crossed the railroad tracks, law enforcement officers sped past her. She was able to move over to the shoulder of the road to let them pass.

Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@ salisburypost.com.

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