Update: Man arrested after chase; stolen vehicles recovered
by The Press and Standard | May 23, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 23, 2018 at 9:15 am
It was about 8 a.m. on May 15 and a member of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, working traffic enforcement on the ACE Basin Parkway near White Hall, spotted three vehicles — two white Dodge Durangos and a grey Jeep Wrangler — headed north at a high rate of speed. The deputy estimated their speed at between 86 and 89 miles per hour in a 60-mile-per-hour zone.
The deputy caught up to the convoy of speeders and hit his blue lights and siren to try and conduct a traffic stop.
But the speeders kept going, increasing their speed as they raced toward the Charleston County line.
The Durango in the lead pulled off the roadway and disappeared.
The deputy continued to tail the other Durango and the Jeep Wrangler, staying on the radio to report his speed and location to other sheriff’s office deputies headed to the ACE Basin chase. He reported at least one of the fleeing vehicles had a paper tag from a car dealership.
As the chase was heading north, other sheriff’s office personnel were contacting Beaufort County law enforcement agencies to see if they were working on any recent vehicle thefts. They had not been alerted to any vehicle thefts in that jurisdiction.
The Jeep pulled into the other lane to let the deputy pass and continue his pursuit of the SUV. The deputy reported he tried to catch a glimpse of the Jeep’s driver as he passed, but the man turned his head away from the deputy.
He got on the radio and told the other officers that the grey Jeep had left the chase and pulled off the parkway, just like the first Durango, but might be found somewhere in the area.
The fleeing driver made it into Charleston County, and the Colleton County deputy was told to continue the chase, that personnel from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office were on their way to join in.
Near the intersection of ACE Basin Parkway and Highway 162 in Hollywood, one of the front wheels on the fleeing Durango appeared to be coming off the vehicle.
The fleeing driver drove off the roadway, jumped out of the truck and ran into the woods. The Durango ended up in a ditch.
The deputy exited his cruiser and chased the man into the woods.
Charleston County deputies arrived on the scene, and were in the process of setting up a perimeter when the fleeing suspect was caught and taken into custody.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, saying that employees of Butler Chrysler Jeep in Beaufort had just reported the theft of five vehicles from the dealership overnight.
The two Durangos the Colleton County deputy was chasing had been among the five motor vehicles stolen from the dealership.
The thieves broke into the dealership and removed the keys to 10 vehicles on the car lot before stealing the five vehicles.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office responded to the chase with members of the road patrol, canine officers and put a helicopter up to try and spot the suspect from the air.
As the helicopter pilot flew over the area, he noticed three vehicles parked in a row on Roach Road in Hollywood and had deputies on the ground check on the vehicles.
They discovered that they were the three other motor vehicles stolen from the Beaufort County dealership.
Alerted to the discovery, Butler sent employees to Roach Road to retrieve the vehicles.
The suspect, Joshua Avon Milligan, 20, of Hollywood, was transported to the Emergency Department of Colleton Medical Center where he was treated for dehydration, and then booked into the Colleton County Detention Center on a charge of failure to stop for blue lights.
“I am very pleased with the proactive actions of the deputies involved in this incident; this is a good example of proactive policing and looking beyond the stop,” Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland said.
“By looking beyond the stop, this resulted in the retrieval of four stolen vehicles from a car dealership. I would like to thank Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon and his deputies for assisting us in the apprehension and the retrieval of these stolen vehicles,” Strickland added.
Anyone with any information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111 or 1-888-Crime-SC. Callers can remain anonymous.