PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Three people are in custody after leading deputies on a brief pursuit in a stolen RV.
The owners are in shock after learning it was involved in a chase.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office first responded to a shoplifting call at a Walmart in Hudson Friday morning.
By the time they arrived at the scene, Ilda Marie Koning, 48, and Neil Michael Adams, 30, got into the stolen RV with Larry Donaldson, 42, behind the wheel and started driving down US 19.
Captain James Steffens says the stolen camper was used as a getaway vehicle.
Steffens says Koning and Adams bailed out of the RV and were taken into custody soon after.
Deputies then fell back but kept the RV in sight as Donaldson drove through neighborhoods, made U-turns and ran red lights, Steffens says.
He says Donaldson reached speeds of up to 45 mph but was reckless.
A deputy cruiser was eventually able to block the camper when it tried to drive onto the property of Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson.
In response, the driver proceeded to ram the SUV cruiser causing the bumper to fall off, deputies say.
Deputies can be seen on video with guns drawn arresting Donaldson. All three suspects are now in custody facing several charges. No deputies were injured in the incident.
Donna VanTassel told News Channel 8 that she and her husband recently bought the RV and they were about to take it on their first camping trip.
She says it was stolen last Friday and believes the thieves were living in it all week.
“It made me feel sick to my stomach. It was a big investment for us and we had plans for it,” VanTassel said
There was a strong odor left inside the camper with dirty dishes and clothes scattered everywhere.
“If there are drugs being done in there, I’m concerned about being in a vehicle with the toxic effects of drugs,” VanTassel says.
Even after this ordeal, VanTassel, who says she’s an ordained minister, wants to meet the suspects.
“They’re desperate people and they need help and if it’s not me, then who? We need to be helping one another and that’s my mission,” VanTassel says.
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