17 September, 2021

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Pursuit ends with suspect of stolen vehicle in Sheetz bathroom

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – A suspect has been arrested after be allegedly fled to the bathroom of a Sheetz convenience store, after leading authorities on a pursuit through multiple counties and the Town of Bedford Friday.

According to Virginia State Police, the Town of Bedford initiated a pursuit Friday afternoon after locating a 2003 Saturn Vue stolen from a home in Bath County. The vehicle and the suspect were tracked via his cell phone.

When police confronted the suspect’s car, he fled, according to police, and led the Town of Bedford to discontinue efforts as Virginia State Police took on the incident. Troopers followed the suspect into Botetourt County, where spike strips were brought out along Route 220 to disable the stolen Saturn.

After the vehicle stopped at the Sheetz on Route 220 and Route 779, the suspect fled into the store before being found in the bathroom.

Police say James Michael Rakes, 50 of Dublin, was known to the victim and was arrested without conflict before being taken to the Botetourt County Jail.

He was wanted in Bath County for the stolen Saturn and is scheduled to face additional charges from the chase.

No injuries were reported as a result of the pursuit.

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