CHARLES COUNTY

Shoplifting Suspects in Ice Cream Truck See Their Getaway Chances Melt

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By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 2, 2008

Charles County sheriff's deputies arrested two men this week who they say stole more than $500 worth of soap and shampoo from a La Plata CVS store before leading police on a chase down Crain Highway -- in a Good Humor ice cream truck.

No, this is not a scene from Grand Theft Auto IV.

Kristen Timko, a spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff's Office, acknowledged that the ice cream truck was "a very easy vehicle to spot" but did not make light of Tuesday's incident, which ended in a crash that left three other men with minor injuries.

"It's easy to look at it from the outside and think that it's funny because there was an ice cream truck involved and because they stole a lot of toiletries," Timko said. "Especially in this case, because there were citizens who were injured as a result of what these guys did, it's not a laughing matter to the police."

Arrested were Wesley Leon Jumper, 36, of the District and Shawn Carnell Stewart, 36, of Capitol Heights. They were both charged with theft valued at more than $500. Stewart, the driver of the truck, was also charged with reckless driving, aggressive driving and fleeing and eluding police.

The chase began about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, after police received a call about a shoplifting at the CVS on Crain Highway. The suspects were speeding down the road in a Good Humor truck, the police dispatcher said.

A sheriff's deputy pulled the truck over in the 2800 block of Crain, but it didn't stop for long. The suspects took off again, leading police on a chase that reached speeds of 80 mph before the truck crashed into a Chevrolet Avalanche, authorities said.

The three men in the Chevrolet were treated at Civista Medical Center and released, Timko said.

Although Stewart is an ice cream truck driver by trade, he did not appear to be on his normal route, Timko said. His truck was taken to a tow facility, where it can eventually be reclaimed, she said.

Stewart was released from the Charles County Detention Center after posting $10,000 bond. Jumper remains incarcerated in lieu of the same bond.


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