GPD: Missouri man stole cigarettes, led police on chase

Published: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.

A Missouri man was arrested Sunday night after police say he stole cigarettes from two different stores and led police on a chase.

At 9:11 p.m., Terry Joe Roberts, 37, tried to buy Newport cigarettes at the Chevron gas station at 3328 W University Ave., according to a Gainesville Police report.

The clerk asked for proof of his age so Roberts placed a plastic card similar in shape to an identification card upside down on the counter. As the clerk began to pick up the card, Roberts grabbed at the cigarettes she was holding, the report said.

Police said Roberts twisted the clerk’s left arm and wrist, breaking her grasp on one of the cartons. Roberts fled from the business with one carton of cigarettes.

At 9:44 p.m., Roberts went to Gator Beverage at 1126 W University Ave. and asked the clerk for two cartons of Newport cigarettes. As the clerk placed one of the cartons on the store counter, Roberts snatched it and fled again, the report stated.

Roberts tried the same tactic a short time later at the Gate Gas Station at 506 NW 13th St. but fled in a silver Dodge Neon.

Police began positioning themselves along University Avenue to look for the car, and at 10:35 p.m. an officer tried to stopped a silver Dodge Neon with Missouri plates, but Roberts sped off.

Officers chased Roberts from the 3800 block of W University Avenue until the 5500 block, never going above 40 mph., when he drove into a dead end in the Kingswood Court community, the report said.

Police said Roberts ignored commands and jumped out of his car while it was still moving. The Neon crashed into an parked car causing $1,000 in damages, the report said.

Roberts ran into the woods but officers soon saw him leave the woods and they ordered him to the ground at gunpoint. Police said they found a small metal pipe used to smoke cocaine in his pocket.

He was arrested on charges of robbery by sudden snatching, robbery, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting an officer without violence, fleeing from officers, and accidental damage to property.

He was being held on Monday at the Alachua County jail on $65,000 bond.

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