Three accused shoplifters are behind bars after leading police on a chase down the Parkway in Sevierville.
A press release from the Sevierville Police Department (SPD) said it all started at the Nike Outlet at Tanger Five Oaks Mall around 11 am. Witnesses said three men came into the store with large bags, filled them up with shoes, then ran from the store.
The men drove off in a 2008 Chevrolet Impala, which was spotted driving recklessly north on the Parkway. The suspects hit another vehicle on the Parkway, but kept going.
A Sevierville officer was standing on the sidewalk near the Belk intersection trying to alert traffic when the suspects' car drove onto the sidewalk, forcing the officer to leap out of the way.
While running onto the sidewalk, both passenger side tires blew out on the Impala, but the car kept going, until both damaged tires disintegrated. On Hwy. 66, an officer forced the Impala into a spin and to run off the road and into a field.
The three suspects ran into a wooded area near Echota Resorts, but were captured after a brief search and foot pursuit.
Antonio L. Bowers, 18, from Nashville; Tanyen E. Willis, 19, of Antioch; and Jeremy Patton, 20, Nashville were arrested. They are facing charges of felony theft; reckless endangerment; felony evading; resisting stop, frisk, halt; fleeing the scene of an accident; aggravated assault; and introducing contraband into a jail.
Nike employees have estimated the stolen merchandise is valued at approximately $3,000.00