Man uses counterfeit cash to steal Tesla, then jumps off NC bridge after chase, sheriff says

North Carolina news

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man is in jail after deputies say he used counterfeit money to buy a Tesla, evading police and finally jumping off a bridge.

Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, Rockingham deputies were called to U.S. 29 in search of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 that was reported stolen from Guilford County.

According to deputies, Cortavious Rey-Ray Johnson, 26, of Danville, Virginia, attempted to buy the car from a man in High Point using counterfeit money.

During the sale attempt, Johnson managed to get control of the Tesla and was driving it, deputies said.

Guilford County deputies reported the vehicle was traveling north before losing track of it.

Rockingham County deputies saw the Tesla near the Freeway Drive off-ramp and began to pursue it “at a very high rate of speed.” Johnson then exited the highway onto Mayfield Road in Ruffin and crashed into a guardrail, according to officials.

According to deputies, Johnson got out of the car and ran away, jumping off the Mayfield off-ramp bridge onto the U.S. 29 bypass. Johnson then surrendered.

He only suffered minor injuries from the crash and jump and refused medical treatment on the scene, deputies say.

“I am very proud of my deputies for arresting this fleeing theft suspect from High Point”, said Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page. “I learned last night that those ‘Teslas’ can travel very fast, and Mr. Johnson learned that no matter how fast you flee, you can’t outrun law enforcement’s radios.”

Johnson was charged with resisting, obstructing and delaying by Rockingham County Sheriff’s office.

He was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, obtaining property by false pretense, uttering a forged instrument and possession of counterfeit currency by High Point Police. Additional charges are possible. His bond was set at $105,000.

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