(Update) Athens man steals Hanceville PD vehicle; pursuit ends in north Cullman

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Robert Clyde Adams, 29, of Athens (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

Updated 2-17-20 3:21 p.m.

HANCEVILLE, Ala. –  An Athens man stole a Hanceville Police vehicle Saturday night, leading the Hanceville Police Department, Cullman Police Department and Cullman County Sheriff’s Office toward Garden City and back up through the city of Cullman along U.S. Highway 31 before CPD Sgt. Joey Duncan performed a pit maneuver just north of Alabama Highway 157, stopping the suspect.

The suspect, identified as Robert Clyde Adams, 29, was transported to Cullman Regional to be checked out. The HPD vehicle and a CPD vehicle were both damaged in the incident.

According to Duncan, Adams “came through town at a high rate of speed, causing cars to run off roads, almost colliding with several vehicles. Officer Levi Dees placed a spike belt across the roadway near the Cullman Shopping Center, and that slowed him down enough for the pit maneuver to be performed.”

Duncan said, “His vehicle got pinned in with a patrol car and he immediately exited the vehicle on the passenger side and starting running in an attempt to avoid arrest. A taser was deployed to get him to stop. It slowed him down enough for law enforcement to escort him to the ground and place him in handcuffs.”

Adams was transported to Cullman Regional to be checked out. The HPD vehicle and a CPD vehicle were both damaged in the incident.

Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail said it all started with an alarm call.

“Our guys was answering an alarm call and stepped out of the vehicle, and apparently the window was cracked just enough,” said Nail, “and he was able to reach in the window when the officer stepped out of sight checking the building and he reached in the window and unlocked the car and jumped in our car and took off.”

Nail said the HPD vehicle is equipped with GPS, which made it easy for Adams to be tracked.

“He was transported to Cullman Regional just to get checked out. He’s a little scratched up here and there,” said Nail. “Of course, our vehicle looks like hell. Luckily, nobody is hurt. That’s the main thing.”

He said Adams had the car “20-25 minutes total. He ran up through the middle of Cullman and they done what’s called a pit maneuver just a little north of 157 about where Lee’s Veterinary Clinic is, and he hit a light pole and took down a guide bar.”

Nail said the CCSO will take lead on the investigation.

“The Hanceville PD, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman PD worked as a team to bring this dangerous pursuit to an end,” said Duncan.

Adams has been charged with attempting to elude, driving while suspended, reckless driving, resisting arrest, running a red light and first-degree theft of property.

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The recovered Hanceville Police vehicle was damaged in the pursuit. (Photo courtesy of Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail)
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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com