TAMPA — A 43-year-old Orlando man who was being sought in a string of carjackings along Interstate 4 was captured on Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Majar L. Jones, 43, was considered armed and dangerous and the subject of a manhunt that started Wednesday in Plant City.
That search ended the next day in Tampa. He checked himself into a mental health facility under a false name, deputies said. Tampa police arrested him without incident. The stolen 2002 green Ford F-150 that he’s accused of stealing in Plant City is still missing.
Jones was wanted in a string of carjackings from Orlando to Plant City. He was identified through a fingerprint taken from a vehicle stolen in Orlando and picked out of a photo lineup by a victim, the Sheriff’s Office said.
He faces charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault with a weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and grand theft.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said Jones stole a 2009 Cadillac in Orlando just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Polk County sheriff’s deputies spotted him driving the Cadillac into Hillsborough County, resulting in a minor hit-and-run crash. Jones then left the vehicle on the I-4 entrance ramp near the intersection of Thonotosassa Road and Marshall Drive in Plant City and ran off, the FHP said.
He ran across the I-4 exit ramp and into a neighboring residential area along Thonotosassa Road. Then a resident saw Jones steal his green Ford pickup truck from his driveway, the FHP said, and chased after Jones in his red Ford pick-up.
The pick-up owner confronted Jones at a nearby Marathon gas station, Hillsborough sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said.
They got into an argument at the parking lot, deputies said, and Jones then fired two shots at the truck owner. The bullets missed and hit the driver’ side door, Gaskins said.
"It’s by the grace of God this guy wasn’t shot," McKinnon said. "Any confrontation like that can turn into a life-ending event because you never know who your dealing with, and this victim easily could have lost his life over something as insignificant as stolen property."
Jones then drove the green pick-up south on Thonotosassa Road, deputies said, ditching an attached trailer at a gas station after driving under the I-4 overpass.