Teen Accused Of Stealing BMW Full Of Kittens, Taking Them On Multi-State Chase Before Crashing In Tennessee

Authorities say 19-year-old James Pitts stole the car from a rest stop in Missouri, then took the car and its feline passengers on a harrowing ride that reached speeds of 132 mph. 

By Jill Sederstrom

A teen is accused of stealing a kitten-filled BMW from a Missouri rest stop, then leading authorities on a multi-state chase until he crashed the car and fled on foot into the Tennessee woods.

James A. Pitts, 19, was later taken into custody by the Hickman County Sheriff’s Office, according to a statement from the department.

Pitts is accused of stealing a white BMW from a rest area off an interstate in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The car contained a cat and her seven kittens, who were forced to take the dramatic joy ride along with the teen, the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reports.

A woman was also with Pitts at the time, but authorities said she was later dropped off somewhere in Missouri or Illinois, according to WTVF.

Illinois State Police attempted to stop the vehicle but police were led on a chase through the southern region of the state—until Pitts fled into Kentucky. The Kentucky State police picked up the pursuit after spying the BMW on I-24. Authorities tried to pull the vehicle over, but Pitts drove off and crossed into Tennessee.

Authorities said at one point the car reached speeds as high as 132 miles per hour, according to Clarksville Now.

He eventually crashed the car on the side of an interstate in Clarksville and ran into the woods.

James Pitts

“It’s wild that it could happen,” resident Kody Schutter told WTVF.

Hickman County Sheriff’s deputies received information late Monday afternoon that Pitts may be staying at a home in the county and caught up with the teen, who initially provided false identification, later that night, authorities said.

After confirming his identity, Pitts was arrested and taken into custody. He was charged in Hickman County with criminal impersonation, violation of probation and unlawful drug paraphernalia.

The cat and her kittens were not hurt in the incident and were taken to the Montgomery County Animal Care and Control. The owner of the animals has contacted the center and plans to pick them up soon.

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