Man accused of not returning truck after test drive, leading deputies on chase in Dade City

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco deputies have arrested a man who took a truck for a test drive and never returned it.

Deputies say 29-year-old Evan Neely went to Golden Gate Automotive off of SR-54 in Zephyrhills on Saturday and told a salesman he was going to buy a car in cash. After the salesman showed him several cars, Neely decided he liked a 2005 Nissan Frontier pickup truck.

An arrest affidavit says Neely showed the salesman an envelope with cash in it, told him he was in a hurry and said he wanted to test drive the truck.

The salesman then gave Neely the keys to let him take it for a test drive, but deputies say Neely never returned the truck to the dealership.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office later received a tip that Neely was in the truck in the Dade City area.

Responding units found Neely driving the truck on US-301 and nearby roads and started following him. After Neely accelerated, deputies activated their lights and sirens and started to chase him.

According to the arrest affidavit, Neely did not stop or pull over and continued driving down residential streets at approximately 60 miles per hour.

Deputies say Neely nearly hit another car as he went through an intersection, then drove into the parking lot of the La Onda Dance Club on Lock Street and crashed into a fence.

The sheriff’s office says Neely then jumped out of the truck and let it continue moving as he ran away. The truck eventually stopped in some bushes at the intersection of 14th Street and Lock Street.

Neely was eventually tackled by a deputy and taken into custody. He is charged with grand theft, resisting an officer and fleeing to elude police. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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