Suspects in an Okeechobee carjacking were arrested in Desoto County

Update July 10 6:30 a.m. : According to Desoto County Sheriff’s Office, Edison claimed there was a third man in the vehicle at the time of the accident. He said he did not know the names of the other men in the vehicle, but said one was called, “Man.”

James Edison, 26 Ty’Juan Lewis, 18

OKEECHOBEE — A car jacking which began in Okeechobee early Monday morning ended in arrests several hours later in Arcadia after an intervention by OnStar. According to Okeechobee Police Detective James Pickering, they got a call around 1:30 a.m. from a woman, who told them she had just been carjacked. When they arrived, she told them she had been held at gunpoint by two black males in the 900 block of Northwest 11th Street, an area known as Dean’s Court.

This firearm was located by deputies when Edison was arrested./Photo courtesy of Desoto County Sheriff’s Office

She told the officers she had been at a gas station earlier and saw a friend who asked for a ride. She gave the friend a ride, and decided to stop and visit another friend while she was in the area. When she got to the friend’s house she was told the friend would be out in a minute, but the friend never came out, and she finally decided to leave. As she was getting into her vehicle, the two black men reportedly ran out of nowhere and demanded her keys. She believed they had a gun. They took her 2019 Chevy Camaro.
She asked an unidentified female if she saw what happened, and she reportedly replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t see anyone steal your car.” The woman did agree to give the victim a ride home, where she was finally able to call police.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol and Investigative Division responded to set up a perimeter. Ty’Juan Lewis was captured. /Photo courtesy of Desoto County Sheriff’s Office

The victim was able to track her vehicle through OnStar, and they advised it was westbound on State Road 70 West. Highlands County was able to pick it up in an unmarked vehicle and followed it until OnStar took matters into their own hands and shut the vehicle down. It crashed into a fence, but did not cause much damage said Detective Pickering. “It basically rolled to the side of the road and hit the fence.”

DeSoto Correctional Institution (DCI) K-9 Unit responded, and with their assistance, Ty’Juan was located and taken into custody. / Photo courtesy of Desoto County Sheriff’s Office

The suspects bailed out. The passenger, James Edison, 26, was captured immediately, and Ty’Juan Lewis, 18, was captured a short time later. A joint effort between Highlands, Polk and Desoto Counties brought a swift end to the search.

The Desoto County arrest report notes Edison has four prior felony convictions and was charged with grand theft motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Lewis was arrested on an out of county warrant for discharging a firearm from a vehicle, improper exhibition of a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft auto. He was also charged with resisting an officer without violence.

This investigation is ongoing and the story will be updated as needed.

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