April Lyn Merritt is the World’s Worst Getaway Driver

I’m betting this is not the way she thought this would turn out:

Oconee County sheriff’s deputies are searching for an Atlanta man who ditched a stolen red Buick Reatta when officers spotted him driving it Sunday on Georgia Highway 15 south of Watkinsville.

Deputies recovered the car, which Putnam County authorities reported missing over the weekend, but said the wanted man — David Agan, 42 — disappeared after leaving the car near a home on Old Greensboro Road.

Investigators later arrested April Merritt, 32, of Greenville, S.C., on a charge of driving with a suspended license as she trolled up and down Old Greensboro Road, possibly looking to pick up Agan, deputies said.

Chief Weems was kind enough to drop into the comments of the news story and post the specifics of the case. Looks like April is the world’s worst getaway driver for Greenville’s least competent booster ring:

We received a call from a concerned citizen about two cars traveling north on HWY 15. We made contact with the vehicles south of Watkinsville and attempted to stop the Buick based on its driving. When the deputy attempted to contact the driver, the car sped off and the deputy pursued but lost sight of the vehicle.

We got another phone call from an area resident about someone jumping out of a car behind their house and running into the woods. We did a K9 track through the woods, but the track ended at another roadway.

At the time of the initial contact, the car had not been entered into the system as stolen. That entry was made during the above described incident. The car was stolen in Putnam County.

The second car from the original call was located circling back through the area. That car was stopped, and the driver was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

Based on information gathered by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and our interviews with the female driver, we have learned that they were en route to Greenville, SC, and we believe that he was picked up by a family member and has reached the Greenville area.

Warrants have been obtained in Oconee County. I am not sure if the PCSO has obtained warrants at this time.

I’m no expert but a good thief isn’t conspicuous enough that the cops know they’re parents picked them up after a crime. Way to hook up with pros April, though let’s be honest, they’re not the ones in jail.

Greenville Couple Arrested in Anderson After Trying to Run Cop Down in Stolen Pick-Up

From the Independent Mail:

ANDERSON COUNTY — The driver and passenger involved in a police chase that reached 70 mph through downtown Anderson and Honea Path, have been charged. The chase happened early Wednesday.

The driver, Franklin Keith Graham, 25, of 360 Fairforrest Way, Greenville faces charges from the Anderson Police Department and the Honea Path Police Department.

In Anderson, Graham has been charged with grand larceny with a value of $2,000 to $10,000, said Sgt. Tony Tilley, spokesman for the Anderson Police Department. Graham also was charged with failure to stop for a blue light, driving under suspension and possession of methamphetamine.

Honea Path police charged Graham with second degree assault because he used his car as a weapon when he drove toward an officer, according to Police Chief David B. King. Graham was also charged with malicious damage for using his car to hit an Anderson Police cruiser.

Graham’s passenger, Melanie Renee Ferguson, 27, of Greer has been charged with accessory to felony.

Surprise! Meth was involved. At least no one was hurt.

Former Top Cop’s Car Stolen From Funeral Home

Of all the places to steal a car from, of all the people to victimize, 47-year-old Lucien Howard Cato chose to take former Police Chief Harold Jennings’ Toyota Camry from a funeral home parking lot during the visitation for another former police chief, Mike Bridges, on Saturday evening.

The stupidity (and classlessness) of this crime is so mind boggling that it’s no surprise the thief was allegedly under the influence.

Lucien Howard CatoA police officer assigned to security detail at the visitation said he watched Cato drive the car out of the parking lot of the Thomas McAffee Funeral Home on North Main Street, according to a police incident report. The officer thought Cato was acting suspicious and driving erratic, so he followed the vehicle. A short time later, the car crashed into the light pole.

After the crash, police confirmed that a purse belonging to the wife of former Greenville Police Chief Harold Jennings was stolen from the funeral home. The keys to the Camry were inside the stolen purse, the report said.

Cato was injured in the wreck and taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was treated.

Cato has been charged with third-degree burglary, grand larceny, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, driving without a license, and driving too fast for conditions.  He is being held at the Greenville County Detention Center in the psychological services unit.

Ronald Epps Turns Himself In

Ronald Jermaine Epps, the 38-year-old man wanted for stealing a parked vehicle with a baby inside, has turned himself in to Greenville County Sheriff’s deputies.

Investigators have been talking to people that knew Epps over the past few days, urging them to get Epps to turn himself in. Epps is charged with kidnapping and grand larceny. He is currently being questioned by investigators at the Greenville Law Enforcement Center.

Video surveillance and witness accounts led investigators to take out warrants for Epps on Tuesday.  The crime occurred in the early hours of Monday morning when a woman left her granddaughter in her running truck while she went to get coffee at the Spinx station at 1520 S. Pleasantburg Drive. The child was returned to her family unharmed.

Ronald Epps Wanted for Greenville Kidnapping & Auto Theft

Ronald Jermaine Epps wanted for Greenville Kidnapping and Auto TheftThe man suspected of stealing a truck with a 10-month-old baby inside has been identified by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office as Ronald Jermaine Epps, 38.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning when the baby’s grandmother stopped her truck to get coffee at the Spinx station at 1520 S. Pleasantburg Drive.  While she was in the store, the running truck was stolen with the baby inside.

The child was recovered unharmed, but deputies are still searching for Epps, who they identified based on surveillance footage and witness statements.  He faces kidnapping and grand larceny charges, according to warrants.  Please call Crime Stoppers at 23-CRIME if you have any information.

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