Police: Moraine man’s pursuit in Franklin follows golf ball theft

A Moraine man is accused of stealing golf balls from Walmart in Franklin on his 35th birthday earlier this month before a more than two-mile police chase that ended in a multiple-vehicle crash.

The case against Robert Anthony Cochran was bound over to a Warren County Common Pleas Court grand jury after he waived his preliminary hearing Friday in Franklin Municipal Court on charges of robbery, two charges of felonious assault; and fleeing. A misdemeanor theft charge was set for a July 31 pretrial conference in Franklin Municipal Court.

Franklin police said officers were called June 19 for a theft underway at Walmart on East Second Street.

Cochran is accused taking several boxes of golf balls, valued at about $300, from the store before leaving in a small green Jeep Liberty towards Springboro, according to police.

An unmarked police car got behind Cochran’s vehicle but when marked police units caught up, Cochran did not stop for police lights and sirens. Cochran turned his vehicle around and started back into Franklin at high speed on westbound East Second Street, according to police.

After Cochran got into downtown Franklin, he turned south and the wrong way on South Main Street. Cochran then turned onto Third Street and turned again onto Riley Boulevard where he went left of center and then went to the right to squeeze through more stopped traffic at the intersection of Riley Boulevard and Second Street. Cochran’s vehicle rammed several cars trying to push through, but was unsuccessful. He then ran away but was captured behind the Speedway gas station, police said.

He was taken for medical treatment then was booked into the Warren County Jail, where he is held under a $100,000 bond on each of the felony charges.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the multiple-car crash that ended the police pursuit. Traffic charges against Cochran are still pending.

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