BROOKVILLE — A man is being held in the Jefferson County Jail for allegedly stealing a vehicle from the Flying J Truck Stop in Brookville, and leading police on a high-speed chase from DuBois to Brockway until he was later found after crashing the truck.

Brookville Borough Police filed charges against James Patrick Bartley, 43, whose address is listed as Jefferson County Jail, including receiving stolen property, theft by unlawful taking, and fleeing or attempting to elude officers –third degree felonies; unauthorized use of motor vehicle and recklessly endangering another person –second degree misdemeanors; speeding, speed exceeding 55 miles per hour in other local by 10 miles per hour, failure to stop at red light, improper pass, disregard of traffic lane, failure to keep right, pass unsafe on left, passing where prohibited, follow too close, failure to yield on right of way, vehicle turning left, turning without signal, careless driving, reckless driving, driving without light to avoid apprehension, failure to notify police of accident/damage, limitations on driving on left side of road, and failure to use a seat belt –summary offenses.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Brookville Police were dispatched to Flying J in Brookville on Dec. 24 for a report of a Ford F-350 that had just been stolen. By talking to witnesses and the victim, it was determined the vehicle was stolen while the truck was left unattended at a gas pump.

Police were located in the area of Flying J, and did not see the described vehicle on Allegheny Boulevard at the time, and directed Jefferson County Control to notify Pennsylvania State Police in DuBois and Clarion that the vehicle might be traveling toward them.

Police were told Bartley told the staff of Flying J he was trying to get to New York state, so Marienville-based state police were also informed to be on the lookout. Brookville Police traveled north to Sigel to search for the stolen vehicle, but saw no signs of it.

During the investigation, it was determined the vehicle’s value was about $35,000. Police met with the victim at Flying J, who said he parked his vehicle, still running with the keys inside, at the gas pump. The victim went inside to pay, and while inside allegedly saw his truck pulling away. He reported he tried to chase after the vehicle and held onto the mirror while pounding on the window, but the driver accelerated away toward the exit. The victim reported he did not give permission for anyone else to drive his truck while at Flying J.

State police in Clarion reported troopers had picked up a man on Interstate 80 and took him to Brookville the night before the truck was stolen. Police reported the man was Bartley, and he told troopers he was trying to get to New York. An image of Bartley was shown to Flying J staff who confirmed he was the man seen inside the store before exiting and taking the truck from the gas pumps.

Recommended Video

State police in DuBois stationed on Interstate 80 later witnessed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen truck traveling toward DuBois and attempted a traffic stop at the intersection of Route 219 and Route 830.

Bartley allegedly fled from police, driving to DuBois Street, and turning in front of oncoming traffic at the intersection of DuBois Street and Parkway Drive before pulling into the Ace Hardware parking lot. He then exited back onto DuBois Street and onto Route 219, heading north.

According to the affidavit, he continued driving recklessly, speeding, passing vehicles, and running red lights, until police lost sight of the vehicle near Morelli’s Family Restaurant in Brockway. Later, police were dispatched for a call of a crashed vehicle at Arch Street Extension in Brockway matching the description of the stolen truck.

Police arrived and confirmed it was the stolen truck from Brookville, and it sustained heavy front end damage and was at rest on an embankment. The driver’s side door was open and no one was at the scene. Footprints from the truck led into the woods and a black jacket and beanie were found in the woods near the crash site.

Police reportedly searched the area until Bartley was located at Shugart’s Funeral Home. He refused to answer any questions about the stolen vehicle.

Bartley is currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $75,000 at 10 percent. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 8 with Magisterial District Judge Gregory Bazylak.

Recommended for you

Trending Food Videos