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Three Lexington County teens arrested in Kansas after leading police on chase in a stolen car

Lexington County, SC 04/10/2023 (Paul Kirby) – Three Lexington County teens are being detained in Meade County, Kansas after leading county law enforcement officers on a pursuit. The car was stolen from one of the teen’s aunt in Gallipolis, OH.


The car was taken on Saturday. April 8, 2023 just after 9:30 p.m. It is thought that 18-year-old Tanner Goodwin, William Whitaker, 17, who is the victim’s nephew, and an unnamed girl, believed to be a runaway from Lexington were in the car. This theft was all caught on video. Both Goodwin and the girl are thought to have been living in Lexington County prior to this incident while Whitaker was living in Ohio with his aunt at the time. Whitaker’s name is being published with the permission of his legal guardian.


According to Whitaker’s mother, her son had been living in Ohio with his aunt after having a number of problems at her West Columbia home. He ran away in 2016 which was his first recorded interaction with law enforcement. It is believed that Goodwin and the unnamed girl left South Carolina and travelled to Ohio last week to pick up Whitaker. His mother thinks their original plans were for the trio to return to the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina. Before Goodwin and the girl were able to pick up Whitaker, Goodwin crashed the original car they were driving in Ohio.

Later that day, the two teens were able to connect with Whitaker and it is alleged that they then stole Whitakers aunt’s 2021 Nissan Murano. Instead of heading back to South Carolina, and now facing a nationwide law enforcement alert regarding the stolen car, the trio instead headed west toward Kansas. At some point, law enforcement spotted the trio and Whitaker surrendered without incident. Before they could take Goodwin and the girl into custody, Goodwin initiated a pursuit with law enforcement. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Goodwin tried to turn off a state road onto a county road. He took the turn too fast and wide, lost control, and crashed. Goodwin was detained and transported to a local medical center where he was treated before being booked into the local detention center. Whitaker was also booked. The Kansas Highway Patrol is not releasing the condition or status of the girl because of her age. All three of the teens are believed to be facing charges in Kansas regarding laws they broke there. Ohio authorities will also be charging them in that state as well regarding the car theft.


According to Whitaker’s mother, she believes that tough love is the best way to handle her son’s continuous behavior. “My son screwed up and he needs to be held accountable. His initial plans were not to break the law but when they were without transportation, they made the wrong decision. He needs to be held accountable for that.”


It is not known if any of the teens will face charges in South Carolina. No one has said where Goodwin and the unnamed girl got the first car they wrecked in Ohio or is Goodwin was breaking any laws by leaving the state with the underaged girl.


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