HIGH POINT, N.C. — New details emerged Friday morning in the arrest of a suspect who police say stole a High Point police car and led law enforcement on a chase.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. on Thursday High Point police responded to Walmart Supercenter at 2628 S. Main St. after receiving a call about a man inside the store concealing merchandise and preparing to leave the store without paying.
According to a press release from the High Point police, a Walmart loss prevention worker approached and detained the suspect, Abraham G. Burns, 38, of Trinity.
Upon arrival, officers learned that Burns had gotten into a physical confrontation with the Walmart worker before being detained. When High Point officers arrived Burns attempted to flee from them as well.
Burns was handcuffed by officers and placed in a seated position in the rear of a marked police vehicle.
While officers were completing other tasks related to the investigation which included retrieving stolen merchandise from the vehicle Burns was driving when he arrived at Walmart, Burns was able to move the handcuffs from behind his back to the front of his body.
Burns then managed to unsecure the shield that separates the front cabin of the vehicle from the rear transport area and climbed into the driver’s seat of the police vehicle and drove away from the parking lot in the police vehicle.
Police began pursuing the police vehicle through High Point into Greensboro on Interstate 40 East ending at the Alamance County line at exit 138.
During the pursuit, a Greensboro Police Department officer deployed a tire deflation device (stop sticks). High Point police also received assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. Assisting units boxed the stolen vehicle in which ended the pursuit and Burns was apprehended.
"It's terrifying, it's like something you see in a movie, it's not something you expect in your life and especially from a family member," said Burns' sister Leslie Martin.
Martin said that her brother has struggled with mental health issues and has a history of drug use. She said that she hopes the incident will lead to changes in her brother's life.
"I just hope that whatever incarceration he does, whatever time he does in prison will change him. Finally he'll grow up and live a good life, this is just not it," she said.
High Point police officers assumed custody of Burns and took him back to High Point where he will face several charges including but not limited to misdemeanors related to the original larceny incident at Walmart to felonies related to the motor vehicle theft and pursuit.
As of Friday morning, Burns remained in the custody of the High Point Police Department at High Point Regional Hospital where he is under medical evaluation. The hospital listed him in critical condition.