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Sheriff’s Office chases down suspected auto thief

| January 17, 2024

PORT WASHINGTON – It took about seven hours for the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office to track down a stolen pickup truck and arrest the suspected auto thief yesterday.

The suspect is a 24-year-old New Philadelphia man, but the sheriff’s office was withholding his name until formal charges are filed.

The red 2013 Ford F150 was reported stolen from the River Road area of Port Washington at 7:35 Tuesday morning.

Sergeant Bryan Patrick says he spotted it while on patrol on Gilmore Avenue at 2:43 p.m. and began a pursuit.

“I ended up chasing the truck for about 25 miles through multiple townships within Tuscarawas County, briefly went into Harrison County, and then back into Tuscarawas County.”

The vehicle turned on numerous roads including River Hill Road, Fallen Timber Road, Sandy Ridge Road, Laurel Creek Road, Edie Hill Road, and Tatman Road.

The State Highway Patrol joined the chase and deployed stop sticks at the intersection of Rush Church and Blizzard Ridge Road.

“And then the pursuit continued approximately one more mile and then the driver… fled on foot at that point. I chased him down the road. The trooper that was able to assist with the spike sticks was driving down the road at that point, and we were able to get him subdued and handcuffed and taken to the Tuscarawas County Jail.”

Patrick says when the suspect realized there were two of them, he gave up.

Patrick says the chase was at speeds of 35 to 100 miles per hour, but there weren’t many motorists on the backroads.

“He almost wrecked numerous times, almost struck a vehicle head-on, passed on the left side of the berm, completely on the opposite side of the road because a semi was ahead of us.”

The Sheriff’s Office is not naming the 24-year-old suspect from New Philadelphia until he is formally charged. However, the description matches an inmate in the jail who has a previous conviction for auto theft and is on probation. A violation of that probation could mean a year in prison.

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