CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry deputies say they have arrested a man who had a woman and child accompany him to an armed robbery.
Orangeburg County deputies arrested 21-year-old Tarik Thomas and charged him with armed robbery with a deadly weapon.
“This individual had a young woman and a small child with him while going into a tire shop to rob the owner,” Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. “This was a complete disregard for everyone around him that day.”
The sheriff’s office says Thomas was taken into custody on Saturday after a Five Chop Road business owner called 911 saying he was following the vehicle of a masked gunman who had just robbed him.
The victim said that just moments earlier he had run out of his business yelling he had been robbed.
“A witness pointed out to the victim the direction the suspect left in a Dodge,” OCSO officials said."With the victim following, the suspect’s vehicle wound up on Sheppard Road where Orangeburg County Sheriff’s deputies caught up with it."
A passenger in the suspect’s vehicle fled, according to several witnesses.
According to OCSO officials, a 20-year-old woman and her 8-month-old child in the back of the Dodge were released.
The case is still under investigation. Thomas' bond was set at $25,000.
Sheriff’s office reports released on Tuesday states the investigation began when a deputy responded to an armed robbery call where the victim said he was robbed at gunpoint by a man with a mask.
The victim told dispatch officials that he was following the suspect who eventually was stopped by OCSO deputies. Deputies reported that the suspect told them he was heading to North Carolina with a woman and a baby who were both inside of the car.
The woman said she was asleep in the back seat of the car with the baby when she woke up and saw someone in the passenger seat of the vehicle, and saw blue lights.
The woman told deputies she was unaware of what was going on.
A homeowner in the area also told investigators that a male subject jumped out of the suspect’s car and jumped the fence behind his house. The suspect said that he did not have another person riding in the car with him.