St. Petersburg man steals fire station SUV, leads police on chase

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Saturday arrested Michael James Chick after they said he stole a Lealman fire district chief's truck and evaded deputies who tried to pull him over. (Florida Department of Corrections photo, 2017)
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Saturday arrested Michael James Chick after they said he stole a Lealman fire district chief's truck and evaded deputies who tried to pull him over. (Florida Department of Corrections photo, 2017)
Published January 27 2018
Updated January 27 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg man led deputies on a chase from Lealman to Largo on Saturday in a stolen fire department vehicle, authorities said.

Pinellas Sheriff’s deputies said Michael James Chick, 31, took a 2014 District Chief Ford Expedition from the Lealman Fire District station just after 1 p.m. The station is at 4360 55th Ave. N.

When deputies attempted to stop him near Park Street N and 84th Lane, he continued driving. Police attempted to bring the vehicle to a halt with "low-speed interventions," including Stop Sticks, devices that deflate a vehicle’s tires when they roll over it. But the attempts were unsuccessful because of "Chick’s evasive actions," a report said.

Officers continued to pursue Chick as aerial support arrived.

The chase ended at an Arby’s Restaurant at 6640 Ulmerton Road, where Chick stopped. He was arrested trying to enter the restaurant.

He faces one count each of burglary to an occupied structure, fleeing and eluding and grand theft auto. The vehicle, a report said, had minor damage.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] Follow @malenacarollo.

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