Deputies: Sarasota carjacking suspect kidnapped woman, crashed her vehicle after chase

Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man accused of carjacking and kidnapping a woman was arrested Wednesday after a chase that ended in a crash.

On Sept. 3, deputies responded to a carjacking at the Parkway Collections shopping center at Lockwood Ridge Road and University Parkway.

The victim told deputies she was walking to her vehicle when an unidentified man approached her and threatened her with a gun.

The man then made her get into the vehicle and drive while he rummaged through her purse and stole five credit cards and her cell phone, deputies said.

Once they reached DeSoto Road, deputies said he let the woman go and drove off with her vehicle.

Hours later, the woman’s credit cards were used to purchase a $319 flat-screen TV from a Walmart on Lockwood Ridge Road and $4 in items from a convenience store on DeSoto Road, according to an arrest report.

A man seen in surveillance video at both businesses matched the description they received from the victim and detectives were able to identify him as 52-year-old George Sparrow, deputies said.

Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Sarasota police officer noticed the stolen vehicle on Tamiami Trail and tried to pull Sparrow over.

After a short chase, Sparrow reportedly smashed into an innocent driver in front of Kasa Sushi on Tamiami Trail, deputies said.

“A few blocks away that vehicle crashed into another vehicle at 42nd here and North Tamiami trail,” said Lt. Robert Armstrong.

Drivers stuck in traffic captured the incident on cell phone video.

Sparrow and the other driver were both taken to a nearby hospital and are both doing okay.

The incident closed both north and south lanes of the busy roadway for hours, forcing afternoon commuters to take detours.

Sparrow was arrested for carjacking and kidnapping and booked into the Sarasota County jail.

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