Two women accused of shoplifting from a Fleming Island Kohl’s ran from deputies and then allegedly carjacked a driver on U.S. 17 in Green Cove Springs, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
The women, a 47-year-old and a 28-year-old, were arrested Monday and charged with carjacking and false imprisonment.
Deputies claim additional charges are pending regarding the alleged shoplifting incident at Kohl’s.
The alleged victim of the carjacking was not injured.
According to reports, shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday, the women were seen taking items and placing them inside their purses. They fled Kohl’s in a 2001 green Kia Rio with a North Carolina plate.
A deputy saw the Rio on U.S. 17, driving south toward Green Cove Springs, and attempted to pull it over.
The deputy reported that the driver signaled she would pull over. The deputy claims he saw the female passenger throwing clothes into the back seat and throwing what looked like price tags out of the front passenger window.
According to the police report, as they approached the intersection of Russell Road, the woman ran a red light, almost hit a white pickup truck and then hit the median, which busted the car’s front passenger tire.
The woman apparently kept driving. The deputy said he saw her pull into the parking lot of a Wendy’s on U.S. 17 and then pull out of the parking lot of a Winn-Dixie and turn east onto County Road 315. At that point, the deputy said he was told to discontinue pursuit of the Rio, and he headed toward the Orange Park substation.
While driving back to Orange Park, the deputy claims he spotted the Rio disabled on the side of the road and saw the two women running out into traffic. The deputy believes the women stopped in front of a silver Toyota Venza.
The driver of the Toyota stopped to see if the women needed help. According to reports, the women told the woman to drive them to the hospital, but she said no but offered them her phone to call 911.
The women allegedly forced their way into the woman’s car and told her to drive them to the hospital.
The woman told police she began driving until she saw the deputy pull up behind her with his lights and sirens on and stopped.
The women are both being held in the Clay County Jail on $180,000 bond.
Carjacking is the criminal act of taking a vehicle from a driver by threat, violence or intimidation. It is a form of robbery – the item being stolen is the automobile itself. If the carjacker is armed, it is considered armed robbery.