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Woman arrested for brazen auto theft in broad daylight during work hours

South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) - A 29-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with stealing an SUV from a business just outside of South Congaree. The suspected thief brazenly stole the vehicle from the parking lot of a construction company's yard in broad daylight during normal business hours. 

According to the owners of Dirt Cheap Hauling & Grading on Edmund Highway just outside of the town of South Congaree, their office and yard had been struck by thieves several times before. On Thursday, October 22, 2020 however, a thief struck in broad daylight stealing the vehicle of one of their employees while they were right there in the yard in a nearby building working!

The company's video surveillance system shows April Dawn Hayes casually strolling across their gravel construction yard as if she had no place to be. By the looks of things, she seems to be wandering aimlessly as if she were waiting for a ride. Then, she the walks between several of the employees’ vehicles looking them over as if she might be selecting one to purchase off a lot. When she spots the open window of the one on the end of the row, Hayes jumps in, cranks it up, and heads out of the parking lot. When she reaches the end of the driveway, she seems to have trouble deciding which way to turn. She signals she’s going to turn right, then left, then back right before eventually seeing a gap in the traffic. She turns right heading toward Pelion speeding off in the stolen car. 

Dirt Cheap employees saw the thief leave the yard, sprinted to another vehicle, and quickly gave chase! According to the employees, they had to follow Hayes and the stolen vehicle for about 20 miles before deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department caught up with the thief and got her stopped. The deputies then placed Hayes under arrest. 

Hayes was booked into the Lexington County Detention Center where she later faced a judge at a bond hearing. By Monday, October 26, 2020 she had apparently met the conditions of her bond and was no longer shown as an inmate at the jail. 


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