updated 8:09 AM UTC, May 21, 2020

Dollar General shoplifter arrested after chase

by Emily Waldrep

A shoplifter was arrested on Sunday, January 6w after stealing several items from Dollar General in Woodville and leading police on a short chase through town.

Officer Zachary of the Woodville Police Department was called to the Dollar General in Woodville in reference to a suspected shoplifting. Employees identified Elaine Chapman Sontage, age 51 of Woodville as the shoplifter and said that she had put several items in her purse and left the store without paying for them.

When Zachary attempted to make contact with Sontage, she had already gotten into her car in the parking lot, so she drove away.

"At that time a pursuit ensued by the officer," said Captain Mike McCulley of the Woodville Police Department. "Sontage continued to evade the officer by driving away from the location down West Dogwood Street. The driver turned again on South Magnolia after running over the curb several times. The driver stopped at the intersection of Cobb Mill Road and South Magnolia, but once again headed south and turned into the Modica Brothers parking lot."

When the driver stepped out of the vehicle she was observed to be intoxicated. At that time, Officer Zachary and Trooper Michael Priest performed a field sobriety test and subsequently arrested Sontage.

Officers also found items in Sontages possession that had been reported stolen from Dollar General.

Sontage was charged with driving while intoxicated, class B theft (more than $50, less than $500), and evading arrest with a vehicle.

Evading arrest with a vehicle is considered a state jail felony.

Sontage is currently being held at the Tyler County Jail under a $17,200 bond.

"Our guys are very proactive, and that's what it takes," McCulley said.

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