Pinellas County deputies arrest two men after test drive turns into armed carjacking

They were caught after crashing into a palm tree

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has arrested two men after a test drive turned into an armed carjacking on Thursday. 

During a test drive, 30-year-old Robert Gajate pointed a handgun at the car salesman and ordered him out of the vehicle, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies responded to the scene and searched the area for the stolen vehicle. They received reports of vehicle matching the description of the stolen one driving recklessly on Gulf Boulevard in Madeira Beach.   

Minutes later, the same vehicle crashed into a palm tree. Two men got out and ran away from the scene, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies set up a perimeter and caught Gajates. Treasure Island police officers located and arrested his passenger, 25-year-old George Olsen. 

Olsen was in possession of crack cocaine and a handgun. Officials say that gun was positively identified at the one used in the carjacking. It was reported stolen in 2003. 

After admitting to stealing the car and picking up Olsen, Gajate told deputies he was just released from prison on April 9 for Grand Theft Auto. 

Both men were arrested and transported to Pinellas County Jail.

 

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