Thursday, August 16, 2018
Public safety

Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

MADEIRA BEACH — Two men were arrested Thursday after a carjacking during a test drive led to a crash on Gulf Boulevard less than an hour later, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

According to deputies, 30-year-old Robert Gajate went to Crown Mitsubishi in St. Petersburg before 2:30 p.m. and asked to test drive a 2012 Cadillac CTS. Once in the car Gajate pointed a gun at salesman Christian Jensen and ordered him out of the car at the intersection of 54th Avenue N and 37th Street N.

Gajate drove off and picked up George Olson, 25, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies heard reports of the Cadillac driving recklessly, and eventually found the stolen car after Gajate crashed it into a palm tree near 14048 Gulf Boulevard in Madeira Beach just after 3:15 a.m.

Gajate and Olson ran from the scene, but were arrested shortly after. Deputies said Olson was found with crack cocaine and the handgun — reported stolen in 2003 — used in the carjacking. Gajate admitted to stealing the car and told deputies he was released from jail last month for stealing another car.

Olson, of Pinellas Park is charged with felon in possession of a firearm and possession of crack cocaine. Gajate, no known address, was charged with armed carjacking, grand theft auto, felon in possession of a firearm, reckless driving with property damage and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Both remain in the Pinellas County jail, with bail for Gajate set at $170,650 and $22,000 for Olson

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