From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Emily Lombardo had her vehicle stolen from her driveway on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at approximately 8:41 a.m. After the quick response of the Trussville Police Department, they were able to recover the vehicle. Lombardo decided to show her appreciation by buying biscuits for the police officers.
Lombardo had stepped out of her vehicle to retrieve a newspaper from her yard in the Longmeadow neighborhood when 23-year-old Levi Bowman of Hoover jumped into her car and drove away.
“By the time I had walked my newspaper back to my garage and turned around, my car was rolling away from me,” Lombardo said. “I just thought I didn’t put the car in park. So then I ran right into the car, and as soon as I ran up there, he just took off.”
Lombardo immediately ran inside the house and called 911. Then, using another cell phone, she was able to track her phone that was left in the vehicle and give information to the police. The Trussville Police Department was able to locate the vehicle with Lombardo’s assistance on I-59 Northbound.
“I’m very, very thankful and proud of the Trussville and Springville officers,” Lombardo said. “They were wonderful and did a great job. Just very thankful for all their help with it, and did a great job working together.”
Trussville Police Department Chief Eric Rush said this appears to be a crime of opportunity.
“Longmeadow is a safe neighborhood, so that’s definitely not the normal thing we have in there,” Rush said. “He just saw an opportunity and took it.”
Rush said you can never be too careful and always be hyper-aware of your surroundings.
“You want to feel safe in your driveway, but in this world, you can’t; you have to always be looking; somebody could be hiding in the bushes,” Rush said. “It’s just a different world.”
Lombardo said she felt like Bowman was hiding somewhere because she never saw him when she stepped out of the vehicle.
“Then when I grabbed the newspaper, and walked it back to my garage, and came back, he was in my car taking off,” Lombardo said. “We’re just thankful that he only took the car, and he took off, and that the police were just so quick in catching him; it was truly amazing.”
Lombardo explained that she was glad her children weren’t in the vehicle, and Bowman didn’t try to attack her or wait until she left and robbed her home.
“I’ve been telling everyone to be aware, be vigilant,” Lombardo said. “You can’t leave your car running or just warm it up or hop out to get your newspaper.”
Related Story: 23-year-old man arrested for attempted murder after striking Springville Police officer with stolen vehicle from Trussville
When Bowman was located on I-59, the Springville Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit on I-59.
Two Springville police officers attempted to disable the vehicle with spike strips at the 154 exit on I-59 when the suspect swerved and struck a police officer. Springville Chief Wayne Walton said the officer is doing good and was not seriously injured.
Another officer was at the 155-mile marker with another spike strip.
Walton said that at this time, the driver made a right-hand turn and attempted to go up the northbound on-ramp, but instead, he crashed into the embankment and fled the vehicle on foot up the ramp.
Springville police officers were able to detain the suspect with the assistance of TPD, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, and the Odenville Police Department.
Bowman is being held at the St. Clair County Jail with no bond for the following charges:
- Two counts of attempted murder;
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia;
- Assault Second Degree; and
- Reckless Endangerment.
The story will be updated when more information is available.