SPRING HILL, FL – On Sunday, February 20, 2022 at approximately 4:00 a.m., Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the driver of a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven located at 7072 Barclay Avenue in Spring Hill.
The driver, later identified as Keshawn Jones, 32, and his passenger later identified as Cynthia Richards, 32, fled southbound on Barclay Avenue at a high rate of speed. Deputies initially lost sight of the fleeing vehicle.
A short time later, 9-1-1 received a call from a resident living in Silverthorn, a gated community. The caller said two suspicious individuals were running through the community. The caller’s description of the suspicious individuals matched the description of the fleeing suspects.
At that time, a deputy with a drone arrived on scene to assist in the search. After receiving permission from the tower at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport to fly in restricted airspace, the drone deputy initially launched in the area of Powell Road on the overpass of the Suncoast Parkway.
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The deputy was later repositioned to the area of Switch Back Road and Jumper Loop after the suspects were spotted closer to that area. The drone deputy was quickly able to observe Jones near Legend Hills Lane. As deputies attempted to responded to the area authorities say Jones jumped a fence and ran across the Suncoast Parkway.
The deputy used the drone to follow Jones to the area of Blair Avenue and Drew Street, where Jones was immediately taken into custody. The drone deputy then responded back to the area of Switch Back Road and Jumper Loop in an attempt to locate the second suspect. The deputy located Richards walking along Cartwrite Road. Deputies on the ground quickly responded to the area and took Richards into custody.
Keshawn Jones was charged with grand theft auto, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, and knowingly driving with a suspended license. He was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center where he was being held in lieu of a $16,000 bond. Cynthia Richards was charged with grand theft auto. She was transported to the Hernando County Detention Facility where she was being held in lieu of a $5,000 bond.
Numerous items stolen from the Walmart located at 1485 Commercial Way were also located in the suspects’ stolen vehicle. Both Jones and Richards were each charged with an additional count of Grand Theft in connection with the stolen property.
At first appearance, Jones’ bond was increased to $55,000, while Richards’ bond was increased to $40,000.