A Gallatin man is facing more than a dozen criminal charges after police say he led them on a chase after stealing an Amazon Prime delivery van and another vehicle before ultimately being captured.
According to a police affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court, 26-year-old John Starnes is accused of stealing the van from the 400-block of Bay Point Drive while its driver was away making a delivery shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 18.
“He only opened a couple of the packages, so… I don’t believe that’s why it was targeted,” Lt. Lamar Ballard with the Gallatin Police Department said. “It was transportation and he just saw an opportunity and took it.”
After multiple attempts to the stop the van were unsuccessful, officers were eventually able to locate the vehicle after it struck a tree and became disabled about five miles away in the 100-block of Dames Avenue off Cages Bend Road.
A short time later, police say a second vehicle was stolen from the 300-block of Brookeridge Drive near Douglas Bend Road not far from the abandoned Amazon Prime delivery van.
“In this robbery, the suspect had stolen a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado after brandishing a knife,” Inv. Glen Pryor with the Gallatin Police Department wrote in an affidavit.
The stolen truck was spotted traveling on Nashville Pike by a deputy with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 9 p.m., according to court records. Law enforcement officials say they eventually called off the pursuit after Starnes began driving the wrong way on State Route 109.
Using the victim’s cellphone that was still inside the stolen truck, police were able to track the vehicle to the area of Lawrencetown Road where Starnes was located and taken into custody.
“Mr. Starnes exhibited signs that he was intoxicated… and repeatedly stated that he thought people were chasing him and trying to get him, which was why he had been trying to get away,” Pryor wrote in an affidavit. “(He) also expressed his apology for stealing the truck and that he hoped the owner of the vehicle was not hurt.”
Starnes is charged with aggravated robbery, four counts of evading arrest, three counts of felony reckless endangerment with a vehicle, two counts of theft of property, two counts of vandalism, leaving the scene of an accident and aggravated criminal trespass, according to court records.
A criminal hearing is scheduled to take place in Sumner County General Sessions Court on May 19.