News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007

Double stolen
auto trouble

Woman allegedly crashes stolen car in chase with police for a second time

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

For the second time in less than a year, a woman went to jail for allegedly crashing a stolen car during a police pursuit, Decatur police said Monday.

Brittany Diamond Thomas, 19, of 1601 First Ave. S.E., faces a charge of first-degree theft in addition to misdemeanor traffic violations amassed during Saturday's chase from Cardinal Apartments in Southwest Decatur.

According to an accident report released Monday, police officer Larry Sharpley was on patrol at the apartment complex when he recognized the white 1993 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Thomas as matching the description of a car reported stolen the previous day.

In his report, Sharpley said that he tried to pull the car over, but the driver took off, heading north toward Mockingbird Lane.

Sharpley said he initially backed off for the safety of the complex's residents, while Thomas continued going so fast she nearly wrecked on a curve inside the complex on Mockingbird Lane.

Sharpley caught up to Thomas as she slowed down and turned west onto Cardinal Drive. Thomas ran a stop sign as she turned north onto Sandlin Road and then ran a red light at Austinville Road so fast the vehicle went airborne, Sharpley said in his report.

As she entered Fifth Avenue Southwest on the north side of the intersection, Thomas lost control of the vehicle, the car's rear sliding right into the curb.

"When she hit the curb, I could see the underside of the car," Sharpley said in his report. "The vehicle struck the curb again with enough force to break off both of the rear wheels."

The car stopped as it struck a mailbox.

Sharpley arrested Thomas on charges of reckless endangerment, attempting to flee and elude, running a stop sign, running a red light, driving without obtaining a license, switched tag, no insurance, and possessing drug paraphernalia for allegedly having a crack pipe hidden under the driver seat.

Police also arrested Thomas's passenger on a charge of public intoxication.

Sgt. Jeremy Hayes of the Property Crimes Unit said detectives later charged Thomas with first-degree theft in the case of the car, which had been reported stolen from the 2000 block of Morgan Avenue Southwest sometime Wednesday night.

Police had arrested Thomas on theft and burglary charges after a similar incident in October.

A 100-mph chase that wove in and out of traffic on Alabama 67 East ended in a rollover that ejected Thomas from a stolen Lincoln Navigator, police said.

Thomas was sent to the hospital following the October crash. She was not injured in Saturday's wreck, police said.

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