Man drives off in car at fuel pump -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man drives off in car at fuel pump

Det. Steve Jones Det. Steve Jones
Bo Jones Bo Jones
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -  Laughter is the reaction you'll get from most people when they hear what happened at this convenience store Tuesday afternoon.

Officers say a 48-year-old James Gilbert jumped into a car that was parked at a gas pump, and drove off. Leading Thomas County Sheriff's deputies and Boston Police on a short, high-speed chase.

"I probably come to the gas station a lot. I come in here on a regular basis and you don't hear about that kind of thing happening down here," said  Bo Jones. "Not very smart..."

Investigators say the owner's first mistake was leaving the keys in the car when he went into the convenience store, waiting for his car to fill up.

When the owner walked back to his car, he saw the truck leaving the gas station, heading down highway 84 toward Boston.

"Of course he yelled out, 'Somebody has taken my car!' And some other people, bystanders there, jumped in and started following him," said Steve Jones.

Boston police eventually caught up to Gilbert and pulled him over. After conducting a field sobriety test, they arrested him with a blood alcohol content level that was twice the legal limit.

"Once he was brought down to the jail and the deputies were bringing him into the intake area, they noticed something in his mouth. It was a bag of marijuana that he was trying to hide from us," said  Steve Jones.

But as bizarre as this story is, his charges are serious. Theft by taking a motor vehicle, DUI, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and crossing a guard line with contraband.

"People leave their keys in their car and leave their vehicles unlocked because we have such a good community and a safe community. This is rare that it happens, but it does," said Jones.

Gilbert is in custody at the Thomas County Jail. The car was returned to the owner that night.

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