Shoplifting leads to chase

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 19, 2002

A shoplifting incident quickly led to a semi-high pursuit and a few close-calls for Andalusia Police officers.

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said APD officers initially responded to reports of a shoplifter at Winn Dixie late Tuesday night, but suspicious behavior led to the arrest of Kristi Lynn Selwyn, 33, of Andalusia.

"An incident occurred at Winn Dixie, " Williams said. "Officers were at the area of 2nd Street looking for the black male allegedly involved in the shoplifting incident. Officer Ray Dixon observed a 1984 Dodge Diplomat being operated by a white female. When she observed the police she acted in

a suspicious nature and changed directions quickly. Officers also observed that she was not wearing her seat belt. Because of this suspicious conduct the officer attempted to stop her at which time she decided she did not want to stop and a semi-high pursuit occurred.

Williams said the pursuit did not exceed speeds of more than 60 mph, but the fact that it occurred in a residential area classifies it as a high pursuit, adding that her efforts to elude police officers were fruitless.

"Unbeknownst to her other patrol units were also in the neighborhood (searching for the shoplifting suspect) and it seemed as though every direction. She initiated a head-on confrontation with a second officer and the officer had to leave the entire street to avoid the confrontation.

"Based on the previous information and the obvious attempt to initiate a head-on collision with another vehicle, officer Dixon bumped the rear end of the female's vehicle. They were approaching three individuals in the street and Officer Dixon hooked the front end of the vehicle causing the woman to lose control of her vehicle."

Williams said Dixon's cruiser struck a tree after attempting to end the pursuit, causing extensive damage to the vehicle, adding that Selwyn made an additional attempt to flee the scene in her vehicle, but was quickly opposed by a second police cruiser.

"The female then jumped out of the car and ran on foot and was quickly apprehended by the officers," Williams said. "She fought physically with the officers to avoid apprehension but was subdued by the officers on the scene and taken into custody.

"She has been charged with several citations including driving with a suspended license and she has been charged with reckless endangerment and resisting arrest and she was also booked into the Covington County Jail under a grand theft-auto charge from Crestview, Fla."

Williams said the vehicle Selwyn was operating had been reported as having been taken by an unauthorized person and charges are pending in connection with the vehicle.

"She was apprehended and a search of her purse revealed numerous checks and credit cards apparently not belonging to her," Williams said.

The charges related to the vehicle, checks and credit cards will be filed subsequent to an investigation by the Andalusia Police Department.