POLK CITY (FOX 13) - The pursuit of a suspect car thief that began in Plant City Tuesday ended in a fiery crash in Polk County, according to reports from three law enforcement agencies involved in the incident.
It began with a call from Plant City PD, to Lakeland PD, for help catching a suspected car thief. Plant City officers were pursuing the suspect on I-4 toward Lakeland.
When the Plant City Police Department requested for assistance, they advised LPD the driver of the vehicle tried to ram police officers. Based on these circumstances, LPD initiated a pursuit for violent felony charges.
At 2:45 p.m., a Lakeland PD officer saw the stolen vehicle, a Kia Forte, at the Marathon Gas station on Lakeland Hills Boulevard and tried to pull the car over, but the driver took off on Highway 33 northbound.
Shortly after, the officer put in a call to Polk Co. deputies for help rescuing the driver and passenger from the car after it wrecked and caught fire.
Lakeland PD says the male driver was taken into custody after a brief struggle. He and his female passenger were taken to a hospital. The male driver will remain in LPD custody, and upon his release be transported to the Polk County Jail.
Commonwealth Avenue/State Route 33 near Deen Still Road reopened around 8 p.m.