ELIZABETHTOWN — A short joyride in a stolen vehicle earned an Elizabethtown man time in the Bladen County Jail saddled with several charges.
According to Elizabethtown Police Chief Bobby Kinlaw, officers were sent to West Gill Street on Tuesday, Aug. 12, on a report of a stolen vehicle. When they arrived, the victim stated that, when he arrived at the residence to visit a friend, he noticed a man standing in the yard.
“The victim left his vehicle running because he … had been having trouble with the battery in his vehicle,” Kinlaw said. “The victim went inside the residence for a few minutes and, when he came back outside, his vehicle was gone.”
While the officer was taking the report, Kinlaw said another report came in about a vehicle that had run into a ditch on East Broad Street near Locks Road, about 2 miles away.
“Officers responded to the wreck and discovered the vehicle involved was the one that had just been stolen,” Kinlaw said. “(And) the driver was still inside the vehicle.”
A crew from Elizabethtown Fire Department was dispatched to the scene to cut the seat belt and free the driver.
“A witness at the scene of the crash told officers that the vehicle had just passed him traveling about 80 mph in the 45-mph zone and on a double-yellow line,” Kinlaw said. “After passing the witness, the stolen vehicle ran off the roadway on the left, overcorrected and ran off the roadway on the right and crashed into the ditch.”
After being transported to Bladen County Hospital and treated for minor injuries, officers arrested Ralph Demmond McKinley, 37, and charged him with felony larceny of a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, as well as careless and reckless driving.
McKinley remains in the Bladen County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.