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Gaston PD believes they know their suspect after chasing, recovering stolen car

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – Major Stephen Watkins of the Gaston Police Department pursued a stolen car until the driver ran out of running room and fled on foot Tuesday morning. According to Watkins, he got behind the car on Boy Scout Road and when he tried to pull it over, the driver sped away.

The driver of the vehicle apparently wasn’t familiar with the area because he turned down Havenwood Drive into a subdivision that doesn’t have an exit. When the man behind the wheel ran out of driving room, he stopped, jumped from the car, and ran off toward the woods. Watkins pursued the man on foot for a short distance, then doubled back to secure the car that was still running before the man could sneak back around and drive off again. He then had his dispatch center call for bloodhounds from SLED.

According to Watkins, the dogs found a solid trail and tracked the man for about a mile before the heat and weather conditions began to stress the dogs too much. At that point, the track was called off. Watkins said he believes he has enough information to identify the suspect but doesn’t want to release the man’s name to the media until they have had time to complete their investigation and get all their paperwork in order.

The car that the man was driving was reported stolen out of Richland County. Major Watkins has already recovered four stolen cars in the town of Gaston since the first day of May. Watkins says that the man behind the wheel was a white male wearing a red t-shirt, ballcap, and cargo shorts. He is believed to weigh approximately 170 – 189 lbs. Although the Gaston officers are fairly sure who this is, they are asking the public for their help if they have any information regarding this crime. If you can help, contact the Gaston PD at (803) 785-2521 or Midland’s Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.

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