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8-hour manhunt ends with arrests and recovery of stolen guns


By Hal Scheurich

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    DAPHNE, Alabama (WALA) — A Daphne car burglary suspect on the run for hours Monday, June 28, 2021 was in custody by early afternoon. Police spent much of the day searching the Historic Malbis and surrounding areas after getting calls that vehicles in that area had been burglarized and guns stolen. During a search for the suspect, police uncovered several more guns in a nearby car.

Twenty-seven-year-old Chance Crossett of Sheffield, Alabama was found walking along St. Barbara Street in Historic Malbis more than eight hours after police began looking for him. A pistol reported stolen from resident’s car was found nearby and a second gun was found a short time later. Police believe Crossett found a place to hide out and stayed there for several hours before finally emerging.

“It’s my presumption that he came out from wherever he’s been hiding all day. Probably the heat, I would guess played a factor in that and him not being from the area,” said Capt. Brian Gulsby with Daphne Police.

During the search, Daphne Police found the suspect’s girlfriend, 27-year-old Samantha Swayze and her sleeping, 7-year-old daughter hiding out in her car behind some nearby businesses. In the trunk, Investigators say they found seven handguns, at least two confirmed stolen from unlocked cars in Orange Beach and Crestview. Once making this discovery, even more effort was made to find Crossett.

“Initially, some of the officers were able to get telephone contact with him this morning. He indicated that he may try to commit suicide by cop. So, him being armed and not from the area, made this potentially, more dangerous,” explained Gulsby.

Daphne and Spanish Fort Police canvassed neighborhoods and businesses on both sides of Interstate 10 after reports came in from people who thought they’d seen the suspect.

Russell Ware with Timber Creek’s homeowner’s association saw much of the activity as he waited on a painting crew to show up on Timber Creek Drive. He said he saw armed police looking through nearby woods and warned neighbors to be on the lookout.

“We got a lot of…a lot of women that like to jog in here and jog in the grass by the wooded areas and I’m kind of telling them to watch out and be careful,” Ware said.

Police believe the couple has been staying in the Gulf Shores area for a while, taking a bit of a vacation. They said there was a lot of sand in the car and beach toys for the child. The girl has been placed in the custody of DHR to determine who will get custody. Swayze is facing charges for receiving stolen property and endangering the welfare of a child. Multiple charges are pending against Crossett.

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