Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete after short chase with sheriff's task force deputies

ST. PETERSBURG — A short-lived pursuit of a stolen car ended Friday night when the driver crashed into an SUV before rolling the car onto the front lawn of a St. Petersburg house.

No one was injured in the pursuit and subsequent crashes, which began when a member of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Violent Crimes Task Force spotted the stolen car, a Fiat, near 28th Street S and Interstate 275, deputies said.

The Violent Crimes Task Force is a special unit of the Sheriff's Office that includes seven St. Petersburg police officers who work as sworn sheriff's deputies targeting guns and violent offenders.

Task force members followed the car as it drove north on I-275, said Lt. David Danzig, the task force supervisor. When it exited the interstate at 38th Avenue N, the deputies tried to initiate a traffic stop, and the chase began.

The pursuit stretched along 38th Avenue to U.S. 19, where the Fiat turned south, Danzig said. At the intersection of 32nd Avenue N, the car sideswiped an SUV before continuing west for a few hundred yards.

Deputies used a precision immobilization technique to bump into the car and force it off the road near 32nd Avenue and 36th Street, Danzig said, where the car rolled onto the lawn, coming to rest on its left side.

The driver, Akbar Vann, 23, who was not injured, was arrested on charges of grand theft auto and driving with a suspended license. Vann was recently released from prison after serving about a year and a half for multiple drug-related convictions, records show.

The chase came amid a controversy over St. Petersburg's police pursuit policy, which arose after a series of high-speed chases resulted in injuries to bystanders. The issue led St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon to defend his agency's policy — which allows chases when criminals commit forcible felonies such as burglaries — in an address before the City Council on Thursday.

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete after short chase with sheriff's task force deputies 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a naked man who stole a large black and white swan sculpture from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man  stole a large black and white swan sculpture from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend.
Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  3. Jeb money trickles into Putnam's bid for governor


    Money from a Jeb Bush super PAC has made its way into Florida’s 2018 governors race.
    A year ago, Bush’s Right to Rise PAC put $1,171 in money

  4. Men have body image issues too


    I have lost and gained weight several times in my adult life. It wasn't a problem when I was younger and working construction. An "ideal" office job 30 years ago started the yo-yo effect. I don't have any more weight to lose, but the potential of gaining it back is always there.

    Andrew Meacham, September 2005
  5. Health officials outline their plan for writing medical marijuana rules


    Florida health officials are taking the very earliest steps toward rolling out rules to let patients use medical marijuana after state lawmakers failed to resolve the issue during the final hours of their session earlier this month.

    Medical marijuana