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Shoplifting from Walmart leads to chase in Whitfield County, warrants issued for driver

Updated: May 4

Tommy Dale Long was booked into the Whitfield County Jail on Saturday. According to a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office incident report, on Monday, April 27, 2020, at approximately 8:03 PM, a deputy was dispatched to 2545 East Walnut Avenue at the Walmart in reference to a shoplifting. A deputy was already in the vicinity and entered the Walmart parking lot to search for the offender's vehicle. Loss prevention employee advised dispatch the offender was in a silver Jeep Cherokee parked at the front of the store in row four. The deputy located the vehicle matching the description in row four. Upon approaching the offender's vehicle, the deputy noticed it was backing up out of the parking space. The deputy activated his emergency lights and activated his siren twice to get the driver's attention. The driver, later identified as Tommy Dale Long, 20 of Dalton, ignored the emergency lights and siren and continued to back out of the space. Long then took off in the parking lot southbound toward East Walnut Ave. Long accelerated quickly and made an abrupt movement across parking spaces into the next aisle and ran through a three-way intersection in the parking lot without yielding to traffic and continued to the exit onto East Walnut Ave. The deputy turned his emergency siren on when Long made it apparent he was not going to stop and advised Whitfield E911 of the chase in progress. The original deputy that was dispatched arrived on scene and joined the chase as the second patrol car. As Long was taking a right onto East Walnut Ave. from the parking lot, a vehicle in the right turn lane was stopped in front of him, yielding to westbound traffic. Long drove to the left of the vehicle, passing it between a concrete median and failed to use a turn signal. At this time, the deputy noticed the vehicle's passenger-side taillight, and brake light was not working. Long entered the middle lane as soon as he took a right onto East Walnut Avenue, traveling westbound. Long noticed the Lt. traveling eastbound in the center turn lane and westbound left lane with his emergency lights and sirens activated. Long abruptly went to the left of the Lt. patrol vehicle and entered oncoming traffic in the eastbound lane to get around him. After getting around the Lt. patrol vehicle, Long got into the left turn lane to take a left onto Airport Road. Long failed to use his turn signal with each lane change and crossed the double yellow lines several times. Long took a sharp and fast left going southbound on Airport Road, causing the vehicle's rear end to slip. Long gained control quickly and continued south on Airport Road, driving reckless reaching 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Long turn onto Hill Road then took a wide right turn onto Bowie Lane into a residential neighborhood. Long continued driving reckless onto Eugenia Drive then took a left onto a gravel road. Due to the road conditions, the deputy patrol vehicle bottomed out in a divot while the offender's Jeep was able to drive through it. As the vehicle went through the divots in the roadway, the front passenger, jumped out of the vehicle while it was still in motion. The vehicle came to a stop at the bottom of a hill approximately 300 yards away from the deputy's patrol vehicle. Long got out of the vehicle and ran on foot up and over the hill. The deputy continued the chase on foot. By the time he got halfway to the offender's vehicle, the deputy noticed a female, Julie Smith, 22 of Chatsworth, getting out of the rear driver side seat and with Long clear out of sight. The deputy ordered Smith on the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed her behind her back. Smith stated that the driver was her cousin, Tommy Dale Long. Smith stated that when Long saw the deputy in the Walmart parking lot, he told her that he could not go back to prison and to hold on. She also stated that he has warrants out for him. As the deputy was talking to Smith, another deputy checked on the female that jumped from the vehicle injuries. EMS was called to check on her. The deputy asked Smith what happened at Walmart. She stated that Long went into Walmart by himself and came back out to the vehicle. When he returned, he showed Smith a pair of "HyperTough" gloves that he just stole from the store. Smith stated that he had her go into the Walmart with her driver's license and return the stolen gloves to Walmart for a refund. Smith knowing the gloves were stolen, entered Walmart, and returned the stolen gloves, getting a $15.87 gift card in return. Smith was placed under arrest for shoplifting. The other female was checked by EMS and released to her mother. The deputy transported Smith to the Whitfield County Jail and charged her with misdemeanor shoplifting. The deputy had day shift obtain warrants on Long for the following charges. shoplifting, felony fleeing and attempting to elude police, reckless driving, driving on suspended license, improper passing, driving on the wrong side of the road, maximum limits, failure to maintain lane, taillight violation, brake light violation, turn signal required. Tommy Long is no stranger to Whitfield County sheriff's Office back in March of 2019 he escaped from a Whitfield County jail work detail. Long was captured less than 30 minutes with the help of several agencies. Below is the mugshots of Tommy Dale Long and Julie Smith.