Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – Gaston Police Major Stephen Watkins and Captain Brandon Poole captured two suspects Thursday after responding to a burglary in progress in the 200 block of Ben Spires Road. While enroute to the call, the officers spotted a truck turning onto Hwy. 321 south off Ben Spires Road that fit the caller’s description of the vehicle being used in the burglary. Gaston’s officers turned around on the truck and attempted a traffic stop. Instead of pulling over, the truck's driver initiated a pursuit by speeding away.
The driver of the suspicious vehicle led officers north on Hwy. 321 toward Columbia. He eventually turned onto Boy Scout Road and tried to take the chase off-road by turning down the power lines. In the process, the driver struck several fences before making it back over to Woodtrail Drive and onto the pavement again.
At one point, an officer deployed stop sticks but the driver of the fleeing truck avoided them. Police officers used a PIT maneuver on the truck but instead of spinning out, the driver struck a cattle gate. Instead of giving it up here, he drove the stolen truck through a field and eventually maneuvered it into a wooded area. The suspects eventually stopped on Woodrow Boone Road and jumped out the truck.
The driver of the vehicle tried to flee on foot but was chased down and taken into custody after he was found hiding in a drainage culvert off Mimosa Drive. The passenger immediately gave up after the pursuit had ended and was also arrested.
According to Major Watkins, the truck the suspects were in was a 2018 GMS Sierra U-Haul pickup that had been stolen and altered. The thieves had painted black racing stripes across its hood. They had also blacked out the taillights and installed chrome rims to alter the vehicle’s appearance.
A lawful search of the truck by officers revealed 60.2 grams of Crystal Ice. There was also some marijuana located as well.
Major Watkins said that his department received assistance from the Swansea, South Congaree, Pelion, and the Springdale Police Departments. Deputies from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department were also involved in the effort. Watkins said that the cooperation of other agencies is critical in finding and arresting people that break the law. "Without the assistance of these other agencies, it would be tougher to get these kind of people off the streets," he concluded.
Watkins said that the driver of the truck, Jake Fredrickson, 27, is charged with Second Degree Burglary, Driving Under Suspension 3rd Offense, Failure to Stop for Blue Lights, Hit and Run Involving Property Damages, and Trafficking Methamphetamine.
His passenger, 30-year-old Kelsey Spurlock, has been charged with Second Degree Burglary, Trafficking Methamphetamine, and Possession of Marijuana. Both of the suspects spent the night in the Lexington County detention Center where they will have a bond hearing later Friday morning.