CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 1999 black Ford Explorer involved in a chase with Charleston County sheriff's deputies Thursday is the same vehicle that was left running and stolen in the parking lot of a West Ashley CVS earlier this week.
Charleston police officers confirmed Friday that the SUV driven in Thursday's manhunt with deputies in Ravenel was the same SUV stolen in West Ashley. The vehicle was stolen after the owner left it running while he went to rent a movie from the Red Box outside the CVS.
Deputies and police are still looking for the suspect or suspects. Authorities have not said if they believe the suspect is the same in both crimes or if they are looking for two different suspects.
Thursday's manhunt began around 1:30 p.m. Thursday after deputies spotted the stolen SUV in the area of the Fuel Zone on Highway 17. Deputies located the stolen Ford Explorer and attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle.
"There was a lot of law enforcement, helicopters, game wardens," a witness said. "There was also a lot of K-9 units and county police."
Deputies chased down the vehicle on Highway 17 south to the Jericho Mobile Home Park and then used stop sticks to bring the vehicle to a halt. After the vehicle's tires deflated, the driver fled on foot, abandoning the vehicle at the fence line.
Deputies searched the thickly wooded area for the suspect for several hours before calling the search off.
"I think it's just the economy and they can get away quicker here then they can in a suburban area with streets and houses," a witness said. "They're more likely to get caught there then they are here."