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While en route to his residence Saturday night, Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin observed a truck speeding at 39.25 mph in a 25 mph zone on Gulf Boulevard.
Sandlin activated his emergency lights. The vehicle sped up and attempted to elude his marked police vehicle. The driver of the truck was unable to negotiate the corner at Whiddon Avenue and proceeded south on Gulf Boulevard to Palmetto Drive. Apparently the suspect was unaware that Palmetto is a dead end street, Sandlin said.
Upon reaching the end of Palmetto Drive, the driver fled the vehicle, while the passenger remained seated in the truck. The driver entered the canal parallel to Palmetto Drive, and Cpl Perry and Officer Cosseboom arrived to give assistance, as did Fire Chief Robert Robinson and residents of the area. The driver could not be located.
The passenger, Timothy M. Luckey, 20, of Old Town, was detained and questioned and then released pending further investigation. The truck belongs to Luckey’s mother. Both Luckey and his mother told police they did not know the name of the driver, and that he gave the mother $100 to borrow her vehicle for the evening to move furniture for his grandma in Cedar Key.
Subsequent investigation revealed this vehicle to be suspect in an attempted golf cart theft on Watson Circle. The owner of the Bad Boy Buggy arrived home Saturday night to witness the theft in progress. The owner pulled into his driveway and noticed his golf cart was gone. When he got out of his vehicle, he heard an engine rev and saw a truck pull away quickly. The truck bed was still attached to a ramp that the would-be thieves used to hoist the cart, and the Bad Boy Buggy rolled out of the truck and onto the street.
The resident called 911, and a Sheriff Deputy was dispatched to the scene. Levy County Dispatch did not notify Chief Sandlin of the situation, leaving him unaware that the traffic stop he was engaged in was possibly linked to a property crime.
The driver is also a suspect in the theft of Chris Reynolds van, which was taken from State Road 24 sometime Saturday night, Sandlin said. The van was recovered the next day by the Dixie County Sheriff's Department.
Fleeing a marked car is a felony, making other related charges felonies as well, including reckless driving, speeding, obstruction and resisting arrest, Sandlin said.
The sheriff’s office will handle the burglary and attempted theft of the golf cart.
When the mother was told that her truck could be seized because it was involved in a felony, her memory suddenly got better, Sandlin said.
She told police that her son-in-law Harvey Jordan, a 23-year-old white male from Old Town, was the driver, Sandlin said. Arrests are pending.
The same night, two unknown persons entered the Downtown Jiffy Store at approximately 2:41 a.m. Sunday and took an undisclosed amount of cash from the safe, according to police reports. The robbery was perpetrated by persons with knowledge of store procedures and keys to the store, Sandlin said. The investigation is ongoing and arrest will hopefully be made soon, he said. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Cedar Key Police Department at 543-5180.