Two Johnston County teenagers have been arrested following a chase on a stolen truck. The teens are charged in a rash of Smithfield car break-ins that occurred hours earlier. They were arrested Saturday following a brief pursuit on a stolen 2015 Dodge truck taken from a parking lot on West Holding Street in Smithfield.
Smithfield Police tell WTSB they are investigating approximately 20 vehicle break-ins or attempted break-ins at 14 homes. The break-ins are believed to have occurred late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Among the items taken were cash, credit cards, electronics, prescription pills, and a license plate.
The break-ins were reported on Holding Street, Rosewood Drive, South Fifth Street, S. Crescent Street, S. Vermont Street, Beechwood Drive, Woodlawn Drive, and Shady Lane Drive. In some of the cases the vehicles were left unlocked.
After Smithfield Police were notified about the Dodge truck theft, surrounding law enforcement agencies were notified. Around 1:30am Saturday, Clayton Police Office T. G. Johnson spotted the stolen truck traveling on US 70 with two occupants. Officer Johnson then turned on his police lights and attempted to pull over the truck. A short chase ensued with speeds no greater than 55 mph. The driver then turned onto Fernwood Drive into the Dogwood Forest neighborhood. Officer Justin Vause and his K-9 partner “Major” were also in route to assist Officer Johnson at this time.
While the truck was still moving, the passenger jumped out, rolled head first onto the ground, got up and ran between two homes. Then the driver jumped out, again with the truck still moving. The truck knocked down a mailbox and fence and finally came to a stop. Officer Johnson stopped his patrol car and stepped out yelling several times for the suspect to stop and put his hands where they could be seen. Finally when the officer yelled, “I have a dog,” the suspect dropped to the ground and was placed under arrest.
Officer Vause, his K-9 “Major,” and Officer Johnson began to track the second suspect into the woods. After tracking close to 400 yards, the K-9 team ended at a pond at a hill top where Major started barking and whining. The officers leaned over the embankment of the large drainage ditch and spotted the second suspect hiding in drainage pipe. Cut from briars and vines and soaked in muddy water, the suspect was placed under arrest.
The driver, Sterling Peacock, 19, of 336 Fire Department Road, Clayton and the passenger, Robshawn Simpson, 19, of 904 Fuller Street, Smithfield are facing numerous charges.
Anyone who has any items missing from their vehicle or suspects their vehicle was entered s asked to contact the Smithfield Police Department at 919-934-2121.