The three women who are accused of shoplifting and then backing into an officer with a car in Mount Pleasant started their shoplifting spree in North Charleston, according to police.
The trio from Miami, Fla. lifted about $2,500 worth of merchandise from Mount Pleasant’s Town Centre, according to Mount Pleasant police.
But they also stole merchandise from Northwoods Mall, according to North Charleston Police officials.
Investigators searched a Savannah Highway motel room where the suspects were staying and found $15,000 worth of stolen merchandise, according to officials, It is not clear if that amount only included the thefts from Northwoods Mall.
At least two of the women were seen at Northwoods Mall and attracted some suspicion because they were carrying around old Express bags, North Charleston Police officials said.
After leaving Northwoods Mall, the suspects headed to Town Centre where they were confronted by a police officer. After knocking that officer to the ground with their vehicle, the suspects led investigators on a chase on Interstates 526 and 26, traveling as fast as 110 mph, according to an incident report.
Lachavia Brownlee, 22, Shaneah Walker, 23, and Kelvinisha Green, 20, all from Miami, were arrested and charged in connection with yesterday’s incident in which a Mount Pleasant police officer was hit by a car while attempting to investigate three shoplifting suspects. That officer, whose identity was not released, has been treated and released from Medical University Hospital.
While police chased the women’s car on the interstates and into North Charleston, the suspect drove through red lights and stop signs, according to the incident report. She lost control of the vehicle, which jumped through a ditch, crashing into a fence and into someone’s back yard, the report said. The driver was able to maneuver out of the yard and back onto the street before getting back on the Interstate. Police chased the car back off I-26 before it crashed into a home’s garage, where all three women were arrested.
The three women are expected in bond court today at 2 p.m. Brownlee has been charged with first degree assault and battery, reckless driving, leaving the scene, no driver’s license and shoplifting. Green and Walker were charged with shoplifting and first degree assault and battery.
The female officer was responding to reports of thefts at several stores at the Towne Centre shopping center when she spotted three women matching the description of the suspects about 2:15 p.m. and tried to detain them.
The women knocked the officer over as they sped away in a silver car, police said. According to the incident report the officer said “I need help” over the police radio.
The fleeing car got on Interstate 526 toward North Charleston, exited on Dorchester Road and hit a car. The suspects’ car continued to Montague Avenue and crashed on Morningside Drive near East Montague and Rivers avenues.
More than 20 squad cars from several agencies joined the chase. North Charleston officers joined the pursuit when the car entered the city limits on I-526, police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.
The report states the women shoplifted from Ulta, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Gymboree, and the Baby Gap at Town Centre. Items stolen included $1,648 worth of cologne and perfume products and 70 panties worth $735 from Victoria’s Secret.
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Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.