Mooresville woman charged with taking officers on multi-county chase in stolen tow truck

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — A Mooresville woman faces several charges after she allegedly took law enforcement on a multi-county chase in a stolen tow truck.

A spokesman with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said it’s not clear why the woman tried to evade authorities.

Brandi Lavonne Starnes, 34, of the 300 block of Clearfield Drive, was charged with felony possession of a stolen firearm; felony possession of a stolen vehicle; misdemeanor injury to real property; misdemeanor resist, obstruct, delay an officer; misdemeanor resisting an officer; fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle; and felony fleeing to elude arrest.

The incident occurred on Sunday when the 911 dispatch received a call that the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office was in pursuit of a tow truck stolen out of Winston-Salem and the driver also had a firearm in the vehicle.

A Davidson deputy disengaged the pursuit at the Rowan County line. A Rowan deputy spotted the tow truck on the Interstate 85 off-ramp at East Innes Street. The tow truck failed to stop for the deputy. A Salisbury police officer attempted to deploy stop sticks but the attempt was unsuccessful.

The pursuit continued through downtown Salisbury and onto South Main Street/U.S. 29 where a trooper with the NC State Highway Patrol deployed stop sticks at Webb Road and U.S. 29.

A few of the tires were blown, according to a report, but the pursuit continued into China Grove. A China Grove officer deployed stop sticks at South Main Street and N.C. 152 West.

The last tire was blown and the tow truck was still being driven on rims headed toward Mooresville, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said. The pursuit never reached more than 3o to 40 mph. Iredell County deputies also joined the pursuit, which then traveled on N.C. 150 until Starnes turned onto a dead-end road.

A stolen firearm was located in the center console. It’s not clear from any reports or subsequent reports as to why Starnes stole the tow truck or the specific location in Winston-Salem that she took the tow truck from, said Capt. John Sifford, of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

This is not the first time Starnes has taken authorities on a vehicle chase. In July 2018, Starnes was passed out in a stolen vehicle in the middle of Cannon Farm Road. The vehicle was taken from Kannapolis. She took Rowan sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase throughout the county. Deputies deployed stop sticks twice in that incident, both times were unsuccessful.

Similar to this most recent chase, the 2018 incident ended when Starnes traveled down a dead-end road.

She remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $6,000 secured bond.