Darren Doyle, story:
A Morgantown man has been arrested in connection with a theft at the county impound lot over two months ago, after he reportedly tried to flee from law enforcement in a traffic stop attempt on Saturday night, according to the Edmonson County Sheriff's Office.
In a statement, the Sheriff's Office reported that around 10:55 pm on Saturday, April 16, 2022, an Edmonson County Sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle traveling east on Morgantown Road with no license plate light at a high rate of speed. The deputy activated his emergency lights at the intersection of Hunts Church Road and Morgantown Road in an attempt to make a traffic stop, but the vehicle accelerated, according to the Sheriff's Office. The deputy then activated his sirens, but the vehicle continued to accelerate, resulting in the deputy initiating a vehicle pursuit, the Sheriff's Office stated.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the vehicle continued to flee at speeds reaching over 100 miles per hour for approximately 3 miles when the operator of the vehicle reportedly shut off all the exterior lights and quickly turned into a residential driveway. Once the vehicle came to a stop, deputies with Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office reportedly instructed the driver to exit the vehicle, who was identified as Keith Wallingford (37) of Morgantown. Officials said that Wallingford had a suspended operator's license and was immediately placed under arrest. A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of multiple miscellaneous tools that are linked to a February 4, 2022 theft at the county impound lot, along with gloves, a face mask, and other tools commonly used in thefts.
"A detailed list of all items inside an impounded vehicle are inventoried and photographed at the time a vehicle is impounded at the county lot," Sheriff Shane Doyle said. "The exact tools taken from the impounded vehicle on February 4th were located in Mr. Wallingford's possession."
Doyle also discussed the short pursuit.
"Sometimes a subject attempts to flee," he said. "Our deputies are highly trained in these situations and our pursuit policy not only works, but it's also been tried and proven all the way up to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to be effective for our county. We later found out that the vehicle here was not registered to the driver, as is the case in many pursuit situations, but our guys did a good job and a proper arrest was made."
Wallingford was charged with:
Wallingford was lodged in Hart County Jail. The Sheriff's Office said the investigation is ongoing with further charges pending.