Demetrius Ford’s vehicle
Santa Barbara County – Whatever it was that 31-year-old Los Angeles resident Demetrius Ford was hoping to steal from Solvang’s VIP Tobacco Shop on the morning of October 11th, it’s retail value would be hard pressed to justify the consequences that immediately ensued.
According to Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “the incident involving a male and female suspect began at about 9:30 a.m.” when Ford attempted to purloin a vape cigarette and fled the store without paying for the merchandise. Moments later, the store clerk called 911 Emergency to report “an armed robbery,” which was overstating the facts considerably.
Nonetheless, the clerk gave a clear description of the thief’s vehicle, allowing nearby patrol units to promptly spot the fleeing car as it barreled down Highway 246 “at speeds estimated at 100 mph.” In spite of flashing red lights and sirens on his tail, Ford “refused to yield” for a considerable distance, at which point the pursuing deputies “discontinued the chase for safety reasons.”
Those reasons became readily apparent when Ford crashed into multiple vehicles on the highway and ultimately “crashed through a ranch gate and slammed into a tree.” Deputies rolled up to the crash scene shortly thereafter and “removed Ford from the truck, taking him into custody without further incident.” Ford was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, suffering moderate injuries.
While there, he was booked in absentia on an outstanding no-bail probation warrant, as well as on charges that include providing a false name to a police officer, shoplifting, reckless evading, felony hit and run resulting in injury, felony vandalism, resisting/threatening a peace officer, vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of tear gas by a prohibited person, and driving a car without a valid license.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Fire Department