MOULTRIE -- A Norman Park man led Colquitt County sheriff's deputies on a high speed chase through Colquitt County Thursday evening. The pursuit was called off by the sheriff's department as they neared Worth County. Officers know the man's identity, but he had not been apprehended as of Friday afternoon.

A deputy went to the man's workplace, Variety Vending on First Street Northeast, at 5 p.m. Thursday to serve an arrest warrant that accused the 21-year-old man of theft by deception, the CCSO report said. The deputy pulled his vehicle behind the man's work truck and informed him of the warrant.

The man asked him what the warrant was for, and reports said the deputy told him the charge. The man then asked the deputy if he could move his work truck and turn over the keys to his boss, and the deputy allowed him to do so.

Rather than park his work truck, however, reports said the man pulled out of the parking lot, heading north on First Avenue Northeast. The deputy got into his vehicle, turned on his blue lights and attempted to make a traffic stop.

The deputy turned on his siren when the man would not stop for him, reports said. The man turned north onto Highway 319 North at speeds over 70 miles per hour in the 45 mile-per-hour zone, the report said.

Reports said the man drove the truck north on Highway 319 North to the intersection of Highway 133. He went into the southbound lanes of Highway 319 before turning the truck north onto Highway 133 North, running a traffic light.

While the pursuit was on Highway 133 North, reports said the truck reached speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. The truck was very erratic while on Highway 133 North, driving off the roadway dodging through traffic.

The truck then turned north onto Highway 33 North and continued at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, reports said. The pursuit continued on Highway 33 North until the deputy's supervisor called it off at 5:13 p.m. Thursday as it approached the Worth County line because of how reckless the man was driving.

Reports said the deputy stopped the pursuit and returned to Variety Vending and spoke with the company's owner. The owner informed the deputy he wanted to prosecute the man to the fullest extent of the law for theft of the work truck.

Two men who worked at Variety Vending were contacted by the man about 7:45 p.m., and reports said they were told where to find the work truck on Bill Lewis Road. The owner, George Plymel Jr., told the deputy the man had also contacted him, and he was able to retrieve the vending machine keys the man had when the chase began.

Two other Colquitt County sheriff's deputies assisted the first deputy in the vehicle pursuit, reports said. The pursuit was recorded by two of the deputys' on-board mobile vision units.

Charges against the 21-year-old are the theft by deception warrant, theft by taking motor vehicle, attempting to elude officers, three counts of speeding, driving on the wrong side of a roadway, running a red light and reckless driving, reports said.

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