By Samantha Joseph
STUART - An early morning traffic chase led to the arrest of a man who police say burglarized a local church.
Around 1 a.m. on Oct. 11 David Dwyer tried to avoid a traffic stop by driving away and then attempting to make a run for it, according to arresting Officer Marc Boone.
But within 12 hours, Mr. Dwyer not only found himself facing charges related to the traffic stop, he was also identified as a suspect in a church burglary days earlier.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office also later charged him with grand theft auto.
"The vehicle Dwyer was driving when stopped by Stuart Police Department was reported stolen by a resident in Jensen Beach," Rhonda Irons, the sheriff department's spokeswoman said in a statement.
Police say Mr. Dwyer was driving 72 miles per hour on U.S. 1, when he caught Officer Bozone's attention just north of the Roosevelt Bridge.
The driver didn't respond to attempts to stop him, though, and continued until the intersection of North Dixie Highway and Green River Drive, where he got out of the car and tried to sprint off.
One Taser strike later, he was facing charges of fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence, being a habitual traffic offender and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer.
But within hours he was also facing burglary charges, after police said information they later received identified Mr. Dwyer as a suspect in the Oct. 8 burglary of First United Methodist Church on Manor Drive in Stuart.
Stolen from the church were three Sony PlayStation consoles, three Dell laptop computers and several other electronic devices.
Police spokesman Mike Pope released a statement asking for assistance in identifying the suspect videotaped by a surveillance camera.
He described the man as white, in his 20s, of medium build and height, and with a large tattoo on his right calf.
Police say Mr. Dwyer matched the description, and charged him with burglary and grand theft.
It was not the first time Mr. Dwyer tried to outrun cops.
Police say before this latest incident, he was on probation for an arrest on attempted burglary charges in March, when he dove into the St. Lucie River to escape officers chasing him.