Chesapeake man leads police on high-chase on Tuesday morning after stealing truck and a car

Jun. 20—Staff report

A Chesapeake man was jailed after stealing a truck in Wheelersburg, crashing it and then stealing a car from a good Samaritan and then leading officers from several law agencies on a high-speed chase that ended in Lawrence County after the stolen car broke down.

The whole event started at 7:36 a.m. on Tuesday when the Scioto County 911 got a call from a man at the Speedee Mart in Wheelersburg who told dispatch that an unknown man got into his pickup truck and drove away.

Deputies were on their way to the convenience store when another call came in that a man had wrecked a truck in a ditch on Hayport Road in Wheelersburg across the train tracks near the Wheelersburg exit.

When detectives got to the crash and found that a motorist had stopped to assist the man who had just wrecked the truck, which was the one stolen from the gas station. The motorist said the man jumped into his car and took off at a high rate of speed.

The 911 communication center sent out a description of the second stolen vehicle, including the tag number, to all local law enforcement.

A Coal Grove police officer located the vehicle and attempted to stop it but the suspect refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated which reached speeds over 100 mph. Several law enforcement agencies assisted with the pursuit, to include South Point Police Department, Lawrence County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The pursuit came to an end when the stolen vehicle broke down on County Road 1 in Lawrence County in front of where an OSHP trooper was working an off-duty detail.

The suspect, Johnny Dale Lewis, 41, got out of the stolen vehicle, put his hands up and stated he was done. The pursing officers then arrived on scene.

Lewis was transported to Saint Mary's in Ironton where he was treated and released and then detectives from the Scioto County Sheriff's Office transported him to the Scioto County Sheriff's office to be interviewed.

Detectives learned Lewis was court-ordered from a Lawrence County court to be in a rehabilitation center in Portsmouth.

Around midnight on Tuesday, Lewis attempted to cut his ankle monitor off before fleeing the facility to walk back to Chesapeake when he came upon the pickup at the gas station.

Lewis has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree felony grand theft auto and fifth-degree felony theft.

Lewis is being held on a $12,500 bond and will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Thursday.

According to Lawrence County Common Pleas Court records, this is not the first time that Lewis has stolen a car.

In 2014, he was sentenced to six years in prison for three counts of grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, failure to comply with an officer or signal of a police officer and harassment by an inmate.

He also has an open case in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court after being indicted on charges of felonious assault and aggravated burglary.

Lewis also has pending charges for traffic violations in Lawrence and Scioto Counties as a result of the pursuit. The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be handling those charges.

This is still an ongoing investigation, anyone with information should contact Detective Sgt. Jodi Conkel at 740-351-1091