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Man slams stolen car into home

A man driving a stolen car away from police smashed into a home on Indian Rocks Road early Tuesday morning.

The stolen car plowed into the home's garage, crushing one car and damaging another. Part of the garage's wall also was knocked down. Police estimated the damage at more than $60,000.

Police said the stolen car was driven by Scott A. Shell, 26, of Clearwater. He suffered a broken jaw in the crash and was taken to Suncoast Hospital for treatment. Upon his release, he will be booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and fleeing police, arrest reports state.

There were two people sleeping in the home when the crash occurred. Police said neither was injured. They could not be reached Tuesday.

Police think Shell stole the car from Volvo Village in Largo sometime Monday night. He was somehow able to get the keys to the black 2005 Volvo station wagon, though police had not yet determined how.

About 2 a.m., Belleair Beach police saw the car traveling about 80 mph in a 30 mph zone on the Belleair Causeway.

Belleair Beach police Chief Ernie Armistead said officers did not start a high-speed pursuit. A Pinellas sheriff's deputy in the area began to follow what he thought was the stolen car, but it turned out to be the wrong one, Armistead said.

Minutes later, a Belleair Beach officer again saw the Volvo on Eighth Avenue SW in Largo. The driver tried to ram the officer's car, then took off again. That officer radioed that the driver had just committed an aggravated assault, a felony that gives police the authority to pursue, Armistead said.

Another responding officer performed a U-turn and began to pursue the Volvo on westbound Eighth Avenue SW. Armistead said he didn't know how fast the cars were going, but when the Volvo turned onto Indian Rocks Road, he ran into the garage.

"He didn't make the turn," the chief said.

Armistead said Shell was out of the car when officers pulled up. He was taken into custody at 2:18 a.m., two minutes after the officer began the pursuit, Armistead said.

Police also found Shell was wanted on drug charges in Indiana. Armistead said Shell appeared to be intoxicated and could be charged with DUI.

Armistead said the Volvo only had 42 miles on it.

"He hadn't been doing a whole lot of driving with it yet," he said. "We're still investigating how he got the car."

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