Shoplifter Arrested After He Unknowingly Ran Toward Police at Scene of Two Vehicle Crash

By Jeremy Coumbes on February 24, 2024 at 11:56am

A two-vehicle rollover crash led to the quick apprehension of a shoplifter who had nothing to do with the accident Friday afternoon.

Jacksonville Police, Jacksonville Fire Rescue, and LifeStar EMS all responded to the intersection of Massey Lane and West Morton Avenue at approximately 1:45 pm for a report of a three-vehicle crash with one vehicle on its side. Upon arrival, responders learned there were only two vehicles involved in the incident.

According to a crash report by the Jacksonville Police Department, a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Darrien E. Miley of Jacksonville was traveling westbound on West Morton Avenue when his vehicle reportedly ran a red light and was struck by a vehicle driven by 29-year-old Ethan E. Thornley, also of Jacksonville.

Thornley’s vehicle was traveling northbound on Massey Lane after the light had turned green. Miley’s SUV was spun into the curb from the collision which caused the vehicle to turn onto its side. No injuries were reported in the incident and no citations were listed in the report. Miley’s vehicle had to be towed from the scene, and Thornley’s was able to be driven.

During the course of the accident investigation, Jacksonville Police were alerted to a theft that had just been reported at the Walmart Supercenter located at 1941 West Morton Avenue.

According to the report, a man had removed merchandise from the store without paying for it and had last been seen running in the direction of AT&T and Dunham’s Sporting Goods.

Officers at the scene of the crash in the intersection quickly located the suspect in the adjacent parking lot, and 33-year-old Alex D. Zabuski of Beardstown was arrested for retail theft under $150.00. Zabuski was booked into the Morgan County Jail where he was later released with a notice to appear in court.