Grad Bash theft suspect arrested

LAKE CITY, Fla. -- A burglary suspect that was caught on camera snatching two iPads and a purse from a charter bus was arrested Tuesday.

Chad Everett Washington, 31, was caught on surveillance video hopping on an empty and running Trailways charter bus April 27. The bus was parked in the Cracker Barrel parking lot.

Washington was spotted stealing several items from the front two seats, according to a release from the Lake City Police Department.

The bus was carrying high school seniors and their chaperones who were returning home from the Grad Bash at Universal Resort Orlando.

Deputy Foote of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office was unaware that he recovered the two iPads during a traffic stop with Washington. He was arrested on charges not related to the burglary.

On May 6 during another stop, Washington was captured as he tried to flee on his bicycle.

An investigation revealed that Washington matched the suspect on the surveillance footage taken from the bus.

Once Washington was shown a photo of himself inside the Trailways bus stealing the iPads, he confessed to the crime.

"I am happy," replied one of the victims to Investigators over the phone, "I was not expecting to ever see it [iPad] again. I knew it was gone." The stolen property is in the process of being returned to both victims in Alabama.

"I am pleased with the swift closure to this case for these victims," Chief Gilmore said. "Through the cooperation of the Investigative Units of our agency with the Sheriff's Office CID, we were able to recover the victim's property and arrest the suspect in a matter of days."


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