Man follows theft suspects in high-speed chase



Clermont police are looking for three men who they said grabbed $1,800 worth of high-end cellphones from an AT&T store.

But police said the trio didn't count on a witness who chased them.

A surveillance camera snapped the pictures of three men who grabbed the phones on Father's Day. Troy Preston was in the store when it happened.

"As soon as I saw them run out, I was like, 'You know what? I can't just sit back and watch this,'" said Preston.

The three men were getting away in a black Chevy Suburban. Preston said he hopped into his SUV and pursued them.

Preston said the chase began as the three men raced out of the AT&T parking lot and drove across four lanes of Oakley Seaver Drive.

Preston said he was hot on their trail through the twists and turns of a PNC Bank parking lot.

The chase then moved onto State Road 50 as both vehicles bobbed and weaved through traffic at speeds of nearly 100 mph.

Eventually the pursuit went off-road through a big sandy lot before returning to S.R. 50.

The 6-mile high-speed chase ended when both vehicles crashed under a Turnpike overpass.

That's when the three men jumped from the Suburban and ran. They disappeared into a thick wooded area, according to Preston.

Police were close behind but couldn't find them.

Detectives hope someone will recognize the men from the surveillance images and turn them in.

Preston said he has no tolerance for thieves.

"If you want it, you've got to work for it. Simple as that," said Preston.

Police have not publicly condoned Preston's actions, but in a news release they did acknowledge that a good Samaritan pursued the suspects.