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Accused Clearwater carjacker taken into custody after stealing FHP car

Pinellas County

The man accused in a violent carjacking at a Home Depot in Clearwater has been taken into custody after troopers say he stole an FHP cruiser in Okeechobee County.

Police say 22-year-old Shane Jensen used a stolen hammer to try and carjack a truck in the contractor loading area of the Gulf-To-Bay Home Depot on Wednesday morning. He’s also accused of threatening two men with the hammer.

When that didn’t work, police say Jensen threatened a 17-year-old passenger in another truck and, this time, managed to steal it. Detectives tell us Jensen sped away in the silver 2007 Dodge pickup truck, seen on security cameras and elsewhere.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday, an FHP trooper in Okeechobee County stopped for a pedestrian, later identified as Jensen, who appeared to be medically distressed along the Florida Turnpike. Troopers say Jensen was incoherent, so they called for a medical evaluation. 

A road ranger then stopped behind the FHP cruiser on the side of the turnpike. When the trooper walked back to the road ranger to get water for Jensen, authorities say the 22-year-old got into the trooper’s patrol car and took off.

When FHP stopped Jensen, they say he reversed the stolen cruiser and accelerated toward three troopers in an attempt to run them over. He then drove away from the traffic stop and drove into Osceola County, an FHP spokesman says.

The Osceola Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks but troopers say Jensen avoided them and drove onto the grass median. He then got out of the cruiser and ran into the woods.

Troopers say they caught Jensen and took him to a nearby hospital for treatment. He was arrested and charged with stealing the patrol car and reckless driving. Additional charges are pending.

Shortly after he was taken into custody, Clearwater police announced they found the truck that was stolen from Home Depot.

Jensen was already charged with a number of crimes, including battery on a law enforcement officer. Detectives say those charges stem from an incident that happened at his job Monday.

According to police, Jensen broke the windows of a car belonging to his supervisor. He bonded out of jail on Tuesday, just one day before the carjacking at Home Depot.

Jensen previously worked as a lifeguard as needed at Clearwater’s Long Center on North Belcher. The City of Clearwater fired him from his lifeguard position after the Monday incident.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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