A chase through Seffner, after auto burglaries at the Campo Family YMCA, Lithia Springs Park, and FishHawk Sports Complex, resulted in the arrest of two South Florida men who took Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a pursuit that ended in a crash in Pasco County.
According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office report, the July 7 incidents began with auto burglaries, first at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico and then at the Lithia Springs Park and the FishHawk Youth Sports Complex in Lithia.
At the FishHawk Youth Sports Complex, “witnesses heard one of the windows shattering and a vehicle flee from the area moments later,” the report stated. “A witness ran to his vehicle and was able to catch up to the vehicle traveling westbound on FishHawk Boulevard.”
Deputies responding to the call received updates from the eyewitness in pursuit. A helicopter spotted the vehicle near U.S. Highway 301 and Gibsonton Drive and followed it north on Interstate 75, before it exited east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The vehicle “traveled throughout the Seffner area at a legal rate of speed until they spotted deputies in marked patrol vehicles that were assisting,” the report continued.
Items thrown from the vehicle were recovered, but a woman who “bailed” from the vehicle near County Road 579 and Pruett Road was not found, the report stated.
The suspects’ vehicle eventually returned to I-75, traveling north into Pasco County, where the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase.
“The suspect vehicle exited eastbound State Road 54 and then back westbound where a Hillsborough County corporal successfully deployed Stop Sticks, puncturing the suspects’ front left tire,” the report stated. The vehicle struck a traffic control sign as it turned onto the northbound Interstate 75 ramp.
The driver fled before the vehicle stopped, and another passenger bailed after the crash, the report stated. Lucious Felder, 22, and Terry Joseph, 25, both of South Florida, were caught. Both complained of pain and were taken to Florida Hospital, on Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.
Felder had an out-of-county warrant on a charge of possession of marijuana and potentially faces several charges of auto burglary, police said.
Joseph potentially faces several charges of auto burglary and violation of probation, police said. Charges may be added, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The vehicle was identified as a rental.
Witnesses’ names were not released. Deputies were trying to determine ownership of the items recovered.