Man accused of four auto thefts in one night
A Louisville man arrested Saturday stands accused of stealing four vehicles and fleeing police during an auto-theft spree through Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana and Bullitt County in Kentucky.
Police said Michael Shannon Priest, 27, took a 1997 Chevy 4X4 from the parking lot of the Big Foot Food Store on S.R. 135 near Quarry Road in north Corydon Saturday evening. Floyd County police pursued the vehicle, which was wrecked on Nance Lane near Edwardsville.
The subject fled on foot and stole a pickup which had been parked with the keys in the ignition by a woman who had just returned from grocery shopping. He avoided “stop sticks” on Corydon Ridge Road and took side roads to New Middletown.
A witness in New Middletown said a man had asked if he could leave the truck in the witness’s driveway while he went to town for gas. Harrison County Sheriff Mike Deatrick spotted the vehicle shortly thereafter.
About 500 feet from the residence, a man heard an engine starting in his driveway. He went outside and saw a man driving away in a 1988 Chevy S-10 pickup that belonged to a family member. That vehicle was recovered about three hours later in Bullitt County, according to police reports.
The suspect had apparently taken back roads to S.R. 135 before entering Kentucky.
In the meantime, the suspect allegedly took a 2000 Ford Mustang from a fuel pump in Mount Washington, Ky., while the owner was paying for gasoline. He entered Indiana on Interstate 64 in New Albany where an Indiana State Police trooper gave chase.
The suspect shut off his lights and continued to flee police at a high rate of speed when he crashed while turning onto U.S. 150.
The suspect attempted to enter other vehicles at the crash scene before being apprehended, police reports said.
Deatrick said police have no idea why Priest, who had outstanding warrants in Kentucky, would have stolen the vehicles and led police on the wayward chase.
Priest was charged with auto theft in Harrison, Floyd and Bullitt counties and faces several other felony charges.