Man dies in grand theft auto attempt

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August 10, 2007

THOMSON, Ga.---A 65-year-old man is dead after stealing a car and crashing it during a police chase.

A green Acura was stolen from the Stokes-Hodges parking lot in Thomson. The car's owner, David Estes, is an employee at the dealership. He looked out the window and saw the car pulling out of the parking lot.

Estes and his boss chased the thief to the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot, where he was attempting to change the license plates. An altercation occurred. The thief threw the car into reverse while Estes was still holding onto him. Estes was thrown away from the vehicle, which hit a guard rail.

At this point authorities began chasing the thief. He led them down Washington Road and onto I-20 at mile marker 172. Georgia State Patrol, McDuffie County sheriff's deputies, the Thomson Police, and the GBI chased him all the way to mile marker 160 in Warren County, where he crashed the car into the overpass and died.

All that's known about the thief so far is that he is a 65-year-old from out of state.

The Warren County coroner is investigating the death, and Georgia State Patrol is investigating the theft.

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