Woman's car is stolen and used in police chase
Heather Zuniga said it was like something straight out of a movie.
"I would never in my wildest dreams think someone would just hop in and take off," Zuniga said.
West Virginia State troopers tell Eyewitness News Justin Wilson, 18, went to Swann’s Tire Pros and Auto Service in Ripley to test drive Zuniga's sport utility vehicle that was for sale. Soon after, Zuniga said she got a call from her friends at Swann's saying someone has stolen the vehicle.
"We told him to wait for someone to test drive it, but once he got the keys he just took off," one employee said.
Zuniga said the unimaginable call made her think it was a joke.
"We all have a good sense of humor."I just told them to stop kidding around. Then they said 'no really you need to get down here,'" Zuniga said.
State Police said Wilson stole the vehicle and led police on a chase from Jackson County, to Kanawha and all the way to Punam County. Troopers said Wilson pointed a rifle at officers out the window as he sped down Interstate 64 westbound. Troopers said Wilson then pulled up to Liberty Square in Teays Valley and carjacked a Putnam PSD truck. Two Putnam Service District employees said he held a gun to them and threatened to kill them to get into the truck.
"As dangerous as it is, this is one of those pursuits we have to stop," West Virginia State Police Capt. D. L. Lemmon said. "When you have a suspect pointing a gun at officers and driving into traffic you have to get it stopped. We want to offset any potential danger."
State Police said Wilson turned onto Hurricane Creek Road and crashed into a tree and a utility pole, which set the PSD truck on fire. Troopers said Wilson went to the hospital and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Wilson is currently in the Western Regional Jail. State Police said he will be arraigned on Friday in Putnam County. State Police said he is facing several charges including armed robbery, grand larceny and fleeing.