UPDATE: Vehicle theft leads to high speed chase into Troup Co.

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A vehicle theft in Columbus led to a police chase into Troup County, according to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Stewart Smith with the TCSO said a vehicle was stolen out of Columbus Wednesday afternoon, leading authorities on a chase up Interstate 185. Smith said the suspect’s vehicle allegedly ran into the back of a Harris County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, and the suspect got out and stole the patrol vehicle.

Smith said Georgia State Patrol stopped the vehicle, and the suspect is in custody. Columbus media outlets have reported a 4-year-old child was in the vehicle, but he is OK following the chase. The TCSO posted on social media that Interstate 185 was shut down, and it remained that way for about an hour.

Smith referred other questions to Columbus Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol because TCSO’s involvement in the case is limited.

Dale Jackson was driving on Interstate 185 Southbound just before 6 p.m. when he saw the chase end on the opposite side of the road.

“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen given the circumstances,” Jackson said.

“I saw the procession of police cars traveling opposite direction of me, northbound on the interstate, right above the weigh station. Of course, college football season is starting off, so that’s the first thing I think of is a lot of state troopers escorting the team bus.”

Jackson was right in seeing a procession of police vehicles, but they weren’t leading a team bus.

“I noticed it was a pickup truck in the very front, and I thought that seemed odd,” Jackson said. “Right at that split second, [I saw that] pickup truck do a 360 on the interstate.”

Jackson said he saw police perform a PIT maneuver on the vehicle. He said he saw at least 10 police vehicles involved in the chase.

“He tried to keep on going,” Jackson said.

“Remarkably, he kept control after the 360, and he was taking off again down the interstate. That’s when I saw them in my mirror and looking back, I saw them forcibly trying to push them into the woods. That’s when it was obvious what was going on.”

Gabrielle Jansen contributed to this report.