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A snatch-and-grab thief from Little Rock, who eluded authorities for almost two months until he wrecked his car fleeing police after a Saline County theft, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Sentencing papers filed Monday by deputy prosecutor Justin Harper show Marcus Devontae Holmes, 25, pleaded guilty to felony theft in exchange for a five-year prison sentence from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza.

Holmes was identified by his fingerprints as the thief who ran off with a display case full of eyeglass frames, valued at more than $9,000, from LensCrafters in Park Plaza mall on April 9, according to an arrest report by Little Rock detective Regina Black.

The thief fled in a gold Chevrolet Suburban, striking another vehicle as it left, but mall security cameras recorded the sports utility vehicle’s license number, which was registered to Holmes’ girlfriend and mother of his five children, Kashara Baker, 23.

Police found the Suburban parked in front of Holmes’ residence at 8 Covewood Circle. Baker told investigators she had let Holmes drive the vehicle and allowed police to search it where they found two pairs of stolen Prada sunglasses, one of which had Holmes’ fingerprints on it.

[RELATED: Click here for interactive map + full coverage of crime in Little Rock »]

Detectives got an arrest warrant for Holmes, but he wasn’t apprehended until June 6 after a police chase that covered 20 miles and reached speeds over 100 mph, court filings show. The pursuit began in Benton, where Holmes and another man had been shoplifting at the Walmart at 17309 Interstate 30, then ran through Bryant and into College Station.

A pursuing state trooper, trying to end the chase, attempted to run Holmes’ gray Kia off Carter Road, but Holmes recovered, then deliberately rammed the trooper on 3M Road. Holmes’ vehicle then ran off the road and crashed near the intersection of 39th and West Line streets, where he and three passengers were taken into custody.

Stolen merchandise from the Benton Walmart, valued at more than $1,800, was found in the wreckage. Police also discovered a small brown backpack in the car. Holmes told police the backpack belonged to him, although he disavowed ownership of the pistol and illegal ecstasy found inside the bag, court filings show.

Holmes pleaded guilty in September in Saline County Circuit Court to felony theft, fleeing, aggravated assault, theft and possession of firearms by certain persons in exchange for a five-year prison sentence.

Holmes’ sentence will run concurrently with the five-year term he received in Pulaski County under the conditions of his plea agreement, negotiated by public defender Tim Boozer. As a repeat offender, Holmes faced up to 30 years on the Class C felony theft charge.

Arrested with Holmes after the car crash was Ra-shad Terrell Robinson, 25, of Mabelvale. Robinson was charged with commercial burglary, accused in the Walmart theft.

Court filings show Robinson is now a fugitive after missing a court hearing in the case.


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