A Gastonia man is accused of stealing a pick-up truck with a 3-year-old inside and leading police on a chase that exceeded 100 mph Saturday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
The man stole the Chevrolet Silverado after a driver pulled up to the gas pumps at Will’s Food Store in High Shoals on the Gaston/Lincoln county line at about 9:45 a.m. and went inside the store, authorities said. Gaston County Police followed the truck as it sped south on U.S. 321 and several other roads before it entered York County, S.C., on U.S. 321.
York County officers helped in the pursuit before the truck returned to North Carolina, where Gaston County officers initiated a traffic stop on Myrtle School Road and the driver ran from the truck. Officers chased the driver for a short distance before taking him into custody.
The child was found in good condition. Lincoln County deputies took the parents to Gaston County to pick up the child and the truck.
Timothy David French, 39, was charged with felony counts of larceny of a vehicle, possession of stolen goods and abduction of a child, and misdemeanor child abuse. He was jailed on $60,000 bail and faces additional charges in Gaston County.