Suspect steals SUV with dog inside, later crashes into power pole

- Authorities say a dog that was inside a stolen SUV has been found and is safe.

Kenzie, a golden retriever, was inside the vehicle when deputies said the driver was carjacked while stopped at a red light.  The driver, a 49-year-old Orange City woman, told deputies a man jumped into the passenger side of her 2000 Ford Expedition and started yelling at her while she was stopped at Blue Lake Avenue and State Road 44, in DeLand.  She said she got out of the SUV, but the the dog still inside the vehicle.

Several people witnessed the vehicle as it sped away. "This SUV must have been going like 60 through this intersection and almost hit several of us," one caller told a 911 dispatcher.

The suspect ended up crashing into a power pole on McGregor Road, knocking out the power to the neighborhood. The vehicle then caught on fire and was destroyed, but at some point, the victim's 9-year-old golden retriever  was able to get out of the SUV.

"I can see the fire, it's about 20 feet high, 15 feet high," a 911 caller in the area said. "They're dragging the driver away.  The vehicle is very, very torn up."

A deputy brought the victim to the crash scene, where she was able to identify the suspect as he was being taken away in an ambulance.  The dog was nowhere to be found, so a massive search began.  Kenzie was found around 3 p.m. and was little banged up but is expected to be okay.

The Sheriff's Office is expected to charge with suspect, identified as 18-year-old  Andre R. Pomerleau, with carjacking and grand theft auto.  The identity of the suspect was not immediately known.

 

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