GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa carjacking and kidnapping suspect was arrested Tuesday after he led law enforcement officers on a chase in a box truck.
Tampa police said they responded to a report of a carjacking on Encalve Village Drive early Tuesday.
A woman said she was confronted by an armed man as she entered her car while preparing to leave for work.
The suspect, who law enforcement officers later identified as 33-year-old Brandon Baker, demanded the woman exit the car. He then fled in her Nissan Maxima. She was not injured.
Minutes later, officers said they responded to a 911 call on Ashbury Palms Drive.
Officers said Baker forcibly entered a home and confronted another victim, who is a known acquaintance.
Baker forced the victim out of the home and into the Maxima, police said. The victim was able to escape and Baker fled the scene before police officers arrived.
The Maxima was found abandoned at Tampa Palms Boulevard and Compton Drive. The victim was not hurt.
About an hour later, police said they responded to the report of a stolen box truck on Highwoods Preserve Parkway.
The victim said he was in the back of the box truck. When he exited the back of the truck, he told officers that he saw Baker in the driver’s seat. Baker then fled in the truck, which was equipped with GPS.
Tampa police said the truck’s location was determined and the Florida Highway Patrol attempted a traffic stop entering Alachua County.
Baker refused to stop and began driving north in the southbound lanes on Interstate 75.
Deputies said they tried to stop Baker several times without success. Baker struck multiple law enforcement vehicles during the chase.
Tampa police said Baker tried to flee on foot but he was taken into custody by members of FHP and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Two Alachua County deputies suffered minor injuries. No Florida Highway Patrol troopers were injured.
Baker is currently in the Alachua County Jail.
He is facing charges of armed carjacking, burglary with battery, kidnapping and grand theft auto related to the incidents in Tampa. He is also facing multiple felony charges related to what happened in Alachua County.