SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – An Ohio man is facing multiple charges after police said he stole a forklift Saturday evening and drove it down Interstate 385 in Greenville County.
According to the Simpsonville Police Department, an officer responded at 7:49 p.m. to Lowe’s Home Improvement in reference to a grand larceny in progress.
Once officers arrived on the scene, they were informed by dispatch of a forklift traveling downing Grandview Drive. However, the officers saw the forklift being driven down 385 southbound, heading against traffic.
The forklift then turned onto Ray R Tally, traveling toward the Walmart, police said. While trying to locate the forklift, the driver traveled into the parking lot of Home Depot and Aldi then to Zaxby’s, and onto Fairview Road.
Police then located the forklift on Fairview Road using lights and sirens in an attempt to get the forklift driver to pull over but the driver did not.
Officers said the driver continued on toward Harrison Bridge Road, where an officer got in front of the forklift in an attempt to stop it. However, the forklift driver made a right turn into the parking lot of Target and the officer began running after it.
The forklift came to a stop in the parking lot, the police department said.
Police were able to identify the driver as Devon Christopher Pawlus, 34, of Westfield, Ohio.
According to the police report, Pawlus was very intoxicated and did not believe he had stolen the forklift.
Pawlus told police that he had only borrowed the forklift because the keys were still in the ignition.
Pawlus was charged with public intoxication, grand larceny more than $10,000, grand large more than 42,000 but less than $10,000 and strong-armed robbery.
He is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center on a $50,520 bond.