An alleged thief led police on a multi-county chase on Saturday evening after an officer caught him loading merchandise into a truck from a unit at 10 Federal Self Storage in Belmont, N.C. Gaston County Police Officer Jon Leatherwood was conducting a routine check following several break-ins at 1308 S. Point Road when he spotted the suspect, 40-year-old Mitchell Morrison, near the unit. When Leatherwood approached, Morrison fled in a U-Haul truck that was later determined stolen. A chase ensued, with speeds reaching nearly 70 miles per hour, according to the source.
The pursuit ended when Morrison lost control of the vehicle while going over railroad tracks along Old Dowd Road in West Charlotte, N.C. He jumped out while the truck was still rolling and before it went over an embankment, police said. Morrison ran but soon captured near a wooded area by a police dog.
Police are still investigating the break-in and truck theft, which originated at a storage facility in Charlotte. They have yet to determine how long Morrison was at 10 Federal before being spotted. The items found in the truck included a dirt bike and mountain bike.
“It looked like he was in the process of trying to load a John Deere mower,” Leatherwood told the source. “We’ll make sure that we have located all the victims and recovered all the property and get the property back to [the] rightful owners.”
Morrison has been charged with breaking and entering, fleeing to elude arrest, and possession of methamphetamine. He’s being held at Gaston County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He was previously arrested in Mecklenburg County for vehicle larceny, possession of stolen goods and resisting an officer. His most recent arrest was less than two weeks ago, the source reported.
10 Federal operates 17 unmanned self-storage facilities in the Carolinas and Virginia.
WSOC TV, Man Crashes Stolen U-Haul After Leading Police on Multi-County Chase