POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A man is accused of stealing a car from a Polk County travel center on Friday after applying for a job and then crashing it along I-4, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
23-year-old Jacob Thompson, of Winter Haven, stopped by the Pilot Travel Center along State Road 60 in Bartow on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. Thompson was inquiring about a job, but because no one was available at the time to do an interview, he filled out an application and left.
Thompson was asked to return to the store on Monday, deputies said.
About 15 minutes later, deputies were called to the travel center for a reported carjacking. Thompson allegedly stole a 2022 Cadillac XT4 from a West Palm Beach man and nearly ran over the victim in the process, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies said they followed Thompson onto U.S. 27 and then onto I-4. Thompson allegedly drove down I-4 at a high speed and eventually crashed, according to the sheriff’s office.
Thompson allegedly ran away from the crash and was later taken into custody, according to deputies.
Thompson was charged with armed burglary of a conveyance, grand theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, feeling to elude, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammo by a convicted felon, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, resisting without violence, leaving the scene of a crash, driving while license suspended or revoked, and violation of probation, according to the sheriff’s office.
“We don’t think he’s going to make it to the interview on Monday,” deputies said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.