Van Buren police are still looking for a man they said shoplifted and took police on a high-speed chase across the River Valley Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 20).
Authorities said 50-year-old Darren Cripps stole face cream, perfume, a hooded sweatshirt and a woman’s jacket from the local Walmart and was being pursued by officers in connection with the alleged theft. The items are valued at approximately $80.
“He knows he’s in trouble,” said Lt. Brent Grill with the Van Buren Police Department.
Officers said they responded to the Walmart on Arkansas Highway 59 near Rena Road around noon, and when police tried to stop Cripps, he drove off. As he crossed into Dora, Okla., the officer pursuing Cripps said he began driving erratically so the officer discontinued the pursuit to prevent Cripps from crashing and potentially harming himself or others on the road.
“His driving started getting a little crazy,” said Grill.
Cripps was last seen in Roland, Okla. where he abandoned his vehicle and officers found clothing matching what Cripps was seen wearing at Walmart.
“We will be filing felony charges for the fleeing in a vehicle and commercial burglary,” said Grill who added Cripps has a “lengthy criminal history” and is currently on parole.
Police said Cripps lives just two blocks from the Van Buren Police Station.
Neighbor Jason Grace, who know Cripps, said when he found out the news, it alarmed him.
Authorities said they are not considering Cripps armed or dangerous.
If you have any information about Cripps, call the River Valley Crime Stoppers tip line at (479) 78-CRIME.