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Report: Woman allegedly stole $18 worth of meat before fatal police pursuit

A Springboro woman died early Thursday morning after leading police on a pursuit and crashing her vehicle.

Misty B. Sorrell, 40, of Springboro, was the only occupant in a white 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck that crashed about 1:25 a.m. after she failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the left side of the roadway. The vehicle struck a tree and a fence, and Sorrell was ejected in the 6900 block of Shaker Road, near Kathy Lane, according to Sgt. Christina Hayes of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon post.

The highway patrol’s preliminary investigation indicates speed and failure to wear a seat belt were contributing factors in the fatal crash.

According to Franklin police, a citizen called 911 to report a confrontation between a male and female who appeared to have stolen merchandise and were near a white pickup truck. They were attempting flee from the Walmart parking lot near the grocery entrance, the caller said.

Walmart employees reported that two packages of meat were taken that totaled $18 in value, according to a police report.

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The caller said they were struggling to start up the pickup truck. The caller said the male, who was described as about 6-foot-3 with shaggy red or blonde hair and wearing khaki pants and a striped hoodie, started walking toward a nearby apartment complex west of the Walmart store. 

After the woman started the truck, she left the parking lot. Police are continuing their search for the male, who is believed to have been involved in the theft.

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Police Chief Russell Whitman said several minutes later, the pickup truck was spotted traveling down Anderson Street at “at least double the posted speed limit of 25 mph” by an officer coming down East Sixth Street. 

Whitman said by the time the officer was able to see the direction the pickup truck was going, it was between Roberts Avenue and the bridge over Clear Creek. As the officer attempted to pull the driver over, Whitman said the officer asked for permission to begin a pursuit, which was approved by his supervisor. Whitman said the pursuit lasted less than a mile before the truck crashed near Kathy Lane.

All pursuits are reviewed by the command staff and instructors to ensure department policy was followed and to determine if any policy issues or training issues need to be changed, Whitman said. He said it appears the pursuit policy was followed.

“We extend out condolences out to the family,” Whitman said.

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The patrol is continuing its investigation of the fatal crash, and Franklin police is continuing its investigation of the theft and attempted traffic stop as well as searching for the male who is believed to have been involved in the theft. 

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of that person should call Detective David Hatfield at 937-746-2882 or the police crime tip line at 937-743-1TIP (1847).

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