19-Year-Old Allegedly Leads Police Across Three States in Stolen BMW Loaded with Kittens


It was not exactly the purr-fect crime.

Police have apprehended a 19-year-old man who led officers on a three-state high-speed chase in a stolen BMW.

According to the Hickman Country Sheriff’s Office, James Pitts allegedly stole a white BMW at a rest stop in Lee Summit, Missouri, with several kittens inside.

A woman was reported to have been with the teenager during the alleged crime, but he is believed to have dropped her off during the pursuit, according to Fox News.

While police chased Pitts on Interstate 24 through Illinois and Kentucky, the car reportedly reached a speed of 132 miles per hour before authorities used spike strips to slow it down, WKRN reported.

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After the suspect crashed the car in Hickman County, Tennessee, he escaped on foot, Clarksville Now reported.

The kittens were uninjured and placed in the care of Montgomery County Animal Care and Control until the owner could come get them.

Residents near the crash location were directed to report any suspicious activity to the police and make sure their vehicles were locked.

According to the Hickman County Sheriff’s Office, investigators received information that Pitts was staying in Hickman County.

Police eventually caught the suspect on Aug. 6, although Pitts provided false identifying information.

“Road Patrol Deputies made contact with a person they believed to be Mr. Pitts. Mr. Pitts did provide false information identifying himself as someone else,” a notice from the sheriff’s office read.

After further investigation, authorities realized that the person they were in contact with was indeed Pitts.

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“Mr. Pitts was arrested and does faced additional charges here in Hickman Country for Criminal Impersonation, Violation of Probation and Unlawful Drug Paraphernal,” the notice from the sheriff’s office read.

“Mr. Pitts is being held on a No Bond warrant.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith