Men in stolen car stop for gas at victim's workplace, prompt Kingsport chase

Rain Smith • Jun 2, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Two men in an allegedly stolen car picked the wrong Kingsport gas station to stop at for fuel on Tuesday — the victim's workplace.

In a subsequent pursuit with police the driver reportedly bailed from the vehicle, leaving it — and a passenger — to roll down an embankment and into a tree.

According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, the victim's car was stolen from his Dorothy Street residence on Saturday. He told police that between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. someone had broken into his home, taken car keys, then left with his 1994 Mercury Cougar.

A subsequent report filed Tuesday relays the victim was working at Valero, 817 Lynn Garden Drive, when two men pulled up to a gas pump in the stolen car. He called police, but before they arrived the men, whom the victim reported not knowing, had already left in the Mercury.

Police located the car about a half mile north on Lynn Garden Drive. The responding officer pulled behind the vehicle and activated the cruiser's lights, allegedly prompting the driver to take a quick right onto Kinsler Avenue and attempt to accelerate away.

Police pursued the vehicle to the dead end of Kinsler Avenue, where the driver allegedly jumped from the car and ran. Police say the car, still occupied by a passenger, then rolled down a bank and hit a tree before coming to a stop.

The police report says one officer ran after the driver. Another officer chased the passenger, who had also ran away after the car hit the tree.

The passenger, identified as Randy J. Ensor, 47, of 1333 Holyoke St., Kingsport, was apprehended about 100 yards away. A K-9 was brought in to search for the other suspect, finding him beneath a nearby vehicle at 973 Lynn Garden Drive.

The driver was identified as Billy J. Gilbert, 26, of 1002 Reedy Creek, Kingsport. He was arrested and charged with theft of more than $1,000, felony evading arrest, vandalism of more than $1,000 and driving on a revoked license.

Ensor, who police say had a small baggie of marijuana in his pocket, was arrested and charged with theft of more than $1,000, evading arrest and simple possession.

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