By JB Clark
TUPELO – A Tupelo man was charged with felony joyriding and a number of other misdemeanor crimes after reportedly taking a police car during a traffic accident investigation Monday evening.
After a pursuit in which nobody was injured or any property damaged, the man, Devante Buchanan, 22, of Tupelo, allegedly drove the police car to the Lee County Jail where he surrendered himself to police.
Buchanan’s bond was set at $100,000 in Lee County Justice Court.
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said an officer responded to a three-car traffic accident on South Gloster Street near the intersection of Shell Street between 5:51 p.m. and 5:57 p.m. and was talking to the drivers involved when he noticed the passenger from one of the vehicles moving toward his patrol car.
“I think the officer noticed the suspect moving toward the vehicle and getting in,” Aguirre said. “He ran toward it shouting commands for him to get out.”
The officer issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) and after a short period, Aguirre didn’t know the exact amount of time, the car was located in Tupelo’s downtown area. Other police responded and started a short pursuit and that’s when Aguirre said the suspect finally did the right thing and drove the short distance to the jail where he surrendered.
The charges against Buchanan are vehicle theft, driving under the influence of drugs and driving with a suspended license.
“The important thing to me is that no one was hurt and the suspect was found quickly,” Aguirre said.
He said there is no damage to the vehicle.
Aguirre also said he is reviewing the department’s policy guide to see if a policy is needed concerning the security of patrol cars while officers are responding to calls.