Two McDowell men were arrested in Morganton on Monday afternoon after they led police on a car chase.
Benjamin Flynn, 23, of Marion, was charged with felony flee to elude arrest, DWI, possession of stolen merchandise, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and resisting arrest, said Capt. Jason Whisnant with Morganton Department of Public Safety.
Terry Clifton Stacy, 22, also of Marion, was a passenger in the vehicle and was charged with possession of stolen goods and drug offenses, Whisnant said.
Police say officers got a call from Walmart loss prevention employees about two people shoplifting tools, Whisnant said.
“ We gave the description out over the radio and when officers got into the area they saw the suspect vehicle and started to follow it,” Whisnant said.
The driver would not pull over and the vehicle jumped a curb at Walmart and led police down West Fleming Drive, traveling speeds of up to 65 mph, Whisnant said.
The suspect vehicle took a left at the intersection near Burger King, traveling into downtown Morganton on North Green Street and turned right into the first parking lot, he said.
Police were considering terminating the chase because of the volume of traffic that would be out in the downtown area, he said.
“ Fortunate for the process that this guy made a wrong turn into an area,” Whisnant said.
“ They went behind the Nite furniture and, I guess, misjudged the exit coming off the embankment.”
The passenger, Stacy, surrendered to police after the crash, but the driver, Flynn, fled on foot behind the laundromat on South Sterling Street, Whisnant said.
“ A highway patrol sergeant spotted him behind a building and that is when we tracked him with a K-9 (officer),” Whisnant said.
Police set up a quarter-mile parameter around the area and used MDPS K-9’s Kimo and Fred to search for Flynn, Whisnant said.
“ They were definitely hot on his trail and he wasn’t going far,” Whisnant said. “After some negotiation, he surrendered.”
The vehicle was stolen from Macon County and drugs and stolen merchandise were found inside the vehicle, Whisnant said.
The two men were not hurt during the incident, Whisnant said.
Responding agencies were Morganton Department of Public Safety, Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Burke County EMS and North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Staff Writer Jonelle Bobak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-432-8907.