Wanted Florida shoplifting crew arrested after high-speed chase ends in retention pond

Three alleged shoplifters, two of whom had active warrants, were arrested after they landed in a retention pond while fleeing from deputies in Palm Coast. 

The situation began when deputies were called to Palm Coast's Town Center around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Witnesses told deputies they saw three people wearing surgical masks shoplifting from Bath & Body Works and TJ Maxx. When a deputy arrived, he saw two women carrying large shopping bags who matched the description of the alleged suspects exiting the store. 

Once the deputy turned on his emergency lights, the women ran toward a white Toyota and went inside.  The driver of the car reversed and narrowly missed a witness's car before fleeing onto State Road 100. 

"They came close to hitting a deputy sheriff, and that could have ended in a deputy-involved shooting," explained Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. 


When deputies laid out stop sticks near a gas station on Highway 100 East at Interstate 95, the car driver swerved and drove into a retention pond. 

The three people in the car, 36-year-old Amanda Wright, 29-year-old Tiara Gailyard, and 28-year-old Gerald Jenkins, all of Jacksonville, were arrested after being pulled from the partially submerged car. 

When searching the car, deputies found stolen property from two businesses, merchandise and bags from dozens of other retailers, and a metal magnetic device used to remove anti-theft devices at retail stores. 

The trio is accused of stealing $1,836 worth of items from the Palm Coast retail stores, including 50 candles from Bath & Body Works. 

They go from community to community, hitting the big box stores, stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, and then they sell it at flea markets or online or, you know, they dispose of it somewhere," Sheriff Staly said. "You come to Flagler County; we're going to catch you. We're not going to play; we will pursue you. I've taken the handcuffs off my deputies, and we're going to do everything we can to arrest you and put you in jail."

Jenkins had three active fugitive warrants from Hillsborough, Marion, and Duval counties.   

Gailyard had an active fugitive warrant for shoplifting in St. Johns County.

Wright is on probation for a July 2022 retail theft conviction out of Jacksonville.