A report to White Hall Police that a car had been stolen from Smart Motors Wednesday resulted in a chase through Pine Bluff and Little Rock before the driver was arrested.


White Hall Police Chief Greg Shapiro identified the suspect as Joshua Sanford, 36, of Jefferson who was arrested after he drove into a parking lot that had no exit, ending a 70-mile pursuit.


Shapiro said Sanford was arrested on probable cause of felony fleeing, felony theft of property and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer pending an expected court appearance Friday.


According to a press release from White Hall Police, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the police department was notified that a customer’s Nissan Versa had just been stolen from Smart Auto. Officers were able to identify the suspects, a man and a woman, that been at the dealership attempting to purchase a car prior to the theft. One of the suspects, the woman, turned herself in and White Hall officers located her in Cleveland County on Hwy 54.


The male suspect, later identified as Sanford, was still in the stolen car and was spotted on Hwy 54. Attempts to stop the car by WHPD and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies were unsuccessful. Sanford fled north on Hwy 54 then north on Hwy 63 towards Pine Bluff. Pine Bluff Police Officers and Arkansas State Police Troop E were notified and assisted in the pursuit once it entered Pine Bluff and the suspect turned north bound on l-530.


Sanford took the Woodson exit where Redfield officers attempted to deploy tire deflation strips and Sanford drove off the shoulder, avoiding the strips, then reentered l-530 north bound.


Sanford continued into Little Rock, then turned west bound on l-30, then exiting l-30 at the Congo Rd exit where he drove recklessly and negligently on the wrong side of the road against oncoming traffic, running multiple stop signs and traffic signals to Military Rd. Saline County Sheriff’s Office deputies joined the pursuit after Sanford rammed the rear of a Redfield Police car that had got ahead of the suspect to warn oncoming motorists. Sanford drove through a gas station lot then into a parking lot where there was no exit. He refused commands to surrender and exit the car and was then forcibly removed from the stolen car.


The female was released pending further investigation. The stolen car was returned to the customer.