- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A man has been arrested after driving his car into two stores, including a Gulfport pharmacy, stealing a car and setting off a police chase.

30-year-old James Motta was arrested Saturday on Interstate 10 after crashing a car he had just stolen, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said in a statement.

Linda Jackson, an owner of Jackson’s Discount Pharmacy, tells WLOX-TV (https://bit.ly/1PbxPu9 ) she saw surveillance footage of a man driving a car into the rear of the pharmacy’s building. Upon realizing he could not access the pharmacy from there, he drove around and smashed through the front wall, grabbing medications from the store.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1FXAJN4 ) the man fled in the same car, driving vehicles off the road with a series of erratic maneuvers and causing one accident.

“I watched him run a Porsche straight into a ditch,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nick Kotos, who was driving near the pharmacy at the time of the incident.

When Motta’s car’s tires went flat, he then stole a vehicle from a woman and drove to the interstate. The woman told police Motta had threatened to stab her.

Motta was arrested after crashing the car into the median. It is unclear how much time elapsed between the reported carjacking and the crash. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Motta has been charged with one count of felony malicious mischief, one count of commercial burglary, one count of attempted armed carjacking, and one count of armed carjacking. Information on whether Motta has an attorney was not immediately available.


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