- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Two Middleburg women were charged with carjacking and false imprisonment after a shoplifting incident and pursuit in Clay County Monday.

Hope Davies Gibbons, 47, and Tia Nichole Miller, 28, are jailed on $180,000 bail each, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest report describes the following account.

The incident began shortly before 5 p.m. with a shoplifting of clothes at Kohl’s on Fleming Island. The two suspects fled the scene in a 2001 green Kia Rio with a North Carolina license plate.

A deputy spotted the vehicle headed toward Green Cove Springs and saw someone throwing clothes in the back seat and what appeared to be price tags out a window. The driver then sped off, with the deputy in pursuit.

The car struck a curb, blowing out a tire. It raced through a parking lot and the deputy lost sight of the vehicle.

A short time later the deputy spotted the vehicle disabled in the 3100 block of U.S. 17. He saw its two occupants flee into traffic and stop in front of a silver Toyota Venza. The women demanded that the driver take them to hospital, but the 43-year-old woman refused and offered them her cellphone instead.

The two women then got into the passenger side of the vehicle and ordered her to drive off. The driver stopped her car after spotting police behind them.

Deputies, including Undersheriff C.D. Aldrich, then took Gibbons and Miller into custody. The driver was unharmed.

Jim Schoettler: (904) 359-4385

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