By Kevin Deutsch
Deputies busted an armed car thief who led authorities on a chase from Lauderhill into Tamarac, court records show.
Chad Johnson, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, allegedly stole a black 2021 BMW X5 in Delray Beach before leading authorities on a Feb. 9 pursuit in which a Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter tracked him down, according to the records.
When a Lauderhill Police officer first tried stopping Johnson in the stolen car, he fled and headed for Tamarac, where a BSO helicopter spotted him in the 5200 block of Island Club Drive, according to an arrest affidavit.
As deputies watched from the sky, Johnson exited the stolen BMW and fled to Treehouse Lane, the records state. There, he climbed a second-floor apartment balcony, tried to break in through a sliding glass door, then jumped off the balcony, the affidavit alleges.
Johnson tried to “disguise himself” on a patio in the same apartment building, where a K-9 deputy arrested him, records show.
Inside the stolen BMW, deputies said they found a Smith and Wesson pistol. The affidavit states that they also found key fobs for three BMWs in Johnson’s clothes.
Johnson, a convicted felon, was charged with grand theft auto, fleeing law enforcement, and possession of a weapon by a convicted Florida felon, records show.
He was being held without bond Thursday at the Joseph V. Conte Facility.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.