By Kevin Deutsch
A Tamarac man was arrested after stealing a $106,000 Range Rover in Parkland, then leading authorities on a highway pursuit in which a Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter tracked him into Miami-Dade County, court records show.
Dashawn Thompson, 20, of Westwood Drive, allegedly stole a Parkland man’s white 2020 Range Rover on Jan. 23 on Sweet Bay Manor, after the vehicle had been left unlocked with the key fob inside, according to an arrest affidavit filed by BSO investigators.
Two days later, BSO Burglary Apprehension Team (B.A.T.) investigators received information the stolen SUV was driving south on Interstate-95 near Broward Boulevard, the affidavit states.
A B.A.T. member working out of Lauderdale Lakes pursued the Range Rover and allegedly saw Thompson driving in the vehicle, alone, with a black BMW driving directly behind him, according to court records.
As a BSO Aviation Unit helicopter tracked the cars down I-95, the BMW driver weaved in and out of traffic, allegedly trying to follow Thompson to a safe location to pick him up, investigators said.
When the Range Rover and BMW ran into traffic, the vehicles moved to the interstate’s breakdown lane, using that span to steer past the gridlock and exit in Miami, investigators said.
There, they drove up to the fourth floor of a parking garage in Midtown, according to the affidavit.
Inside the garage, the BMW parked directly in front of the Range Rover, according to BSO. As the BMW driver tried to pick Thompson up, B.A.T. members moved in for a “takedown” on both vehicles, court records show.
A B.A.T. detective allegedly spotted Thompson in the driver’s seat with a black pistol in his hand. Thompson then dropped the gun in the center console and ran off, according to the affidavit, before he “realized there was nowhere to go” and surrendered.
A records check showed the gun Thompson had in the Range Rover was stolen from Hillsboro County in July 2017, according to BSO.
Detectives also discovered Thompson is on felony probation until May 2023 for fleeing and eluding law enforcement, the affidavit states.
Investigators said Thompson is also a three-time convicted felon convicted in 2021 on two counts of grand theft auto and one count of fleeing and eluding, court records show.
The papers did not state what happened to the BMW’s driver or whether they were arrested.
In the stolen Range Rover case, Thompson is charged with first-degree grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, grand theft auto, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and multiple probation violations, records show.
He is also charged with fraud for allegedly using a stolen debit card at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Lauderhill, according to the affidavit.
He was being held without bond Monday at the Broward Main Jail.
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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.
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