Deputies end search for carjacking suspects in eastern Collier

David Albers/Staff
- Local law enforcement agencies search an area of the Picayune Strand State Forest for three suspects involved in a car jacking on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in rural Collier County.

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David Albers/Staff - Local law enforcement agencies search an area of the Picayune Strand State Forest for three suspects involved in a car jacking on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in rural Collier County.

Video from NBC-2

Law enforcement officials spent Wednesday afternoon and evening canvassing a section of eastern Collier County, searching for three men accused of fleeing deputies and carjacking a victim in East Naples.

Collier sheriff’s officials said the suspects were last seen in a sport utility vehicle abandoned on Miller Boulevard, located south of Interstate 75 in Picayune Strand State Forest. Aviation and K-9 units, as well as officials from four other agencies, spent hours patrolling a roughly 1-square-mile perimeter for the men.

Deputies suspended a search for the suspects late Wednesday. Based on evidence found in the SUV, deputies believed the men were armed and dangerous.

Involvement with the suspects started when a Collier deputy attempted to pull over a black Ford Fusion at about 11:30 a.m. on Interstate 75, near the Collier Boulevard exit. The suspects ignored the traffic stop, speeding off the exit and abandoning the vehicle at the Cracker Barrel on Tollgate Boulevard, sheriff’s officials said.

The suspects fled on foot and carjacked a man at a storage complex behind the Cracker Barrel, stealing his red Lincoln SUV, officials said. Deputies spotted the SUV traveling east on I-75, initiating another pursuit. The suspects then took a “construction exit” on Everglades Boulevard, eventually ditching the vehicle in a wooded area near Miller Boulevard and 52nd Avenue Southeast, sheriff’s officials said.

The only description provided of the suspects is “young adult males,” sheriff’s officials said.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477. Citizens are advised not to approach the suspects if found.

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