BRANDON — Glenn Maxwell walked into the Ace Hardware Store in Brandon at about 9 a.m. Wednesday and gathered some small items and work coveralls.
When he started to leave the store without paying, Hillsborough deputies said, the manager confronted Maxwell, 30, of Plant City.
Maxwell gave the manager an identification card. Then he left with the items, deputies say.
When deputies arrived, Maxwell was gone. But with his ID in hand, they knew whom to pursue.
About an hour later, a work crew resurfacing a tennis court at Brookside Manor Apartments in Brandon noticed that a man was trying to drive off in one of their work vehicles, a 2001 Dodge pickup.
It was Maxwell, deputies later reported.
He ran into the tennis court fence and a picnic table, causing about $3,000 worth of damage, deputies say. Then he drove away.
Deputies caught up to the truck near Fishhawk Boulevard and Osprey Ridge Drive in Lithia. They pursued it to the area of Edison Road and Keysville Drive, about 13 miles east.
That's where the pickup crashed in an orange grove.
Maxwell was not injured, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The agency allows deputies to initiate a pursuit when "the officer reasonably believes someone in the pursued vehicle has committed or attempted to commit any forcible felony." That includes burglary.
Speed and safety should be considered, but the agency's policies do not specify a maximum speed.
The Sheriff's Office did not say how fast the vehicles traveled during the pursuit.
Authorities arrested Maxwell on charges of grand theft auto, burglary of a vehicle, felony criminal mischief and fleeing and eluding.
He has been arrested several times in Hillsborough and state records show he has served about four years in prison over four stints since 2002.
He has previously been convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, grand theft motor vehicle, possessing a controlled substance, grand theft and several counts of uttering a forged instrument.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.