Walmart thief leads police on 18-mile chase

Rachel McAuley Staff Writer

December 18, 2013

LAURINBURG — A Red Springs man faces multiple charges after leading police on an 18-mile chase Tuesday night in speeds in excess of 90 mph from the Laurinburg Walmart to the outskirts of Maxton, the Laurinburg Police Department said Wednesday.

Jimmy Fitzgerald Smith, 50, of 4204 Daniel McLeod Road, is charged with larceny, felony fleeing to elude arrest, hit and run, failure to stop at stop signs, driving while license revoked and careless and reckless driving, according to police.

Smith wrecked his 1997 Acura in a Maxton yard and was taken to Scotland Memorial Hospital when he complained of chest pains. Sfter being discharged, he was placed in the Scotland County jail under a $22,500 bond.

An officer responded to a report of theft at Walmart at 8:14 p.m. Tuesday. When he arrived, Smith had already fled the scene, but he was later spotted traveling south on U.S. 401 near Plaza Road. The officer followed him as he continued onto U.S. 74 Bypass East and exited onto Main Street.

Smith turned right onto Hickory Street and went straight onto Willow Drive. Then he attempted to turn left onto Oak Street but he was driving too fast and struck a tree, causing minimal damage.

He backed up and kept straight on Oak Street.

The officer called for back up and three officers from the Laurinburg Police Department and an officer of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office quickly caught up and pursued Smith into Robeson County where they were met by a Robeson County deputy.

Smith took a right off of Cabinet Shop Road through a private yard, ran into a ditch and wrecked his vehicle, causing minimal front end damage.

No one else was injured during the chase.