Man crashes into store, house in Seffner - WFLA News Channel 8

Man crashes into store, house in Seffner

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SEFFNER, FL -

A man in Seffner crashed his SUV into a convenience store trying to rob it, then fled the scene and drove into a house about a mile away, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokeswoman.

The Sheriff's office said 27-year-old Christopher Stringfield of Valrico first drove through the front glass of the Seffner Food Mart located at 340 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The store clerk told News Channel 8 the intruder grabbed about 10 packs of cigarettes before driving away around 3:30 AM.

A short time later, a deputy recognized the SUV and attempted to pull Stringfield over.

Deputies said he drove off and then smashed his Ford Excursion into a downed tree that was blocking Pine St. He didn't stop until he struck a house on the corner of Pine and Varnes Alley. A family of five was sleeping inside.

"I hear screeching tires and the car just come flying down," explained homeowner Darrell Philon.  "I thought it was coming down the side of my house, but actually it ran through the fence and right up to the house and then I see the lights from the sheriff's car chasing him."

Philon said he heard the SUV coming, because the family had been sleeping with the windows open. Strong storms the night before had knocked out their power.

"First thing to do was make sure the kids were alright," Philon said. "We pretty much ran and made sure they were ok in their rooms."

Philon said the driver got out and ran into the woods. HCSO deputies and a K-9 tracked him down and arrested him, according to HSCO Spokeswoman Debbie Carter. Stringfield had to be taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was treated for some injuries, before being booked into the county jail.

Stay with wfla.com and follow us on Twitter @WFLA for more details on this story.

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