Police catch car thief after 100+ MPH chase through Augusta, Rockbridge County

Police catch car thief after 100+ MPH chase through Augusta, Rockbridge County
(Source: WALB)

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A high-speed chase topped 100 miles-an-hour through Augusta and Rockbridge county on Tuesday.

A deputy caught up to what turned out to be a stolen vehicle out of Chesterfield County but the driver went into the emergency lane and took off. A second deputy joined the pursuit as the driver topped 100 miles for a second time.

Eighteen-year-old Clifton Joseph Douglas, Jr. of Chester lost control, struck a guard rail on the opposite side of the road, then fled on foot over an embankment and through a creek before the deputies caught him.

He is being held on multiple charges, including auto theft, eluding, reckless driving, and obstruction of justice.

Clifton Joseph Douglas, Jr.
Clifton Joseph Douglas, Jr. (Source: wvir)

Augusta County Sheriff’s Office Press Release:

May 26, 2020 @ approximately 15:50, a deputy with the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office was running stationary radar on I-64 when a white 2012 Toyota Highlander, traveling west, entered the deputy’s radar at 105/70 mph zone.

The deputy was able to get close enough to obtain the vehicle’s tag, as the vehicle slowed in congested traffic, and dispatchers confirmed the vehicle was reported stolen in Chesterfield County hours earlier; a traffic stop was initiated. The operator of the vehicle then entered the emergency lane and began to accelerate rapidly, disregarding the deputy’s lights and sirens.

The vehicle continued traveling west and then south on I-81; speeds reached in excess of 100 mph. A second deputy joined the pursuit as the stolen vehicle weaved in and out of traffic, nearly striking several uninvolved vehicles. Deputy’s called ahead to Rockbridge County to request assistance as the pursuit continued south on I-81.

Near exit 205, the vehicle’s operator made an abrupt maneuver and took the exit. The driver lost control of the vehicle at the bottom of the exit, entered the intersection and struck a guard rail on the opposite side of the road. After the crash, the driver fled on foot over an embankment and through a creek before being quickly apprehended.

The driver was identified as Clifton Joseph Douglas, Jr., 18, of Chester, VA. He was transported to MRRJ and held on the following charges:

Eluding (F), Auto Theft (F), reckless driving by speed, driving without a license, and obstruction of justice. A second Auto Theft warrant from Chesterfield was also served.

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