COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Colleton County deputies have recovered four out of five new cars stolen from a dealership in Beaufort County and are searching for four of the five thieves involved.
One car was recovered following a police chase from the Ace Basin Parkway through Jacksonboro before crashing into a ditch on Highway 162 in Hollywood. The chase began when deputies got suspicious of the paper tags on the vehicles, according to Colleton County Sheriff's Lt. Tyger Benton.
Three additional vehicles were found on Roach Road near Sutcliffe Court in Hollywood by a Charleston County Sheriff's Office helicopter that was monitoring the scene of the Wando Bridge closure.
Berkeley County deputies say the fifth car, which has not yet been recovered, is a 2018 white Dodge Durango.
Authorities say the thieves put random paper tags from other dealerships on the vehicles to try to fool authorities.
When the first vehicle crashed into the ditch, the driver ran into the woods but was captured.
The Colleton County Sheriff's Office says 20-year-old Joshua Avon Milligan was arrested following a search of the area which included the CCSO helicopter, deputies and K-9 units. Milligan is being charged with failure to stop for blue lights with additional charges pending.
Butler Chrysler Jeep Dodge General Manager Brian DeFoor says the thieves stole 10 sets of keys but only got away with five vehicles.
"They broke into the dealership and kicked in the door in the office and got the lock box and got them out," Defoor said. It's unbelievable, we've never had this happen to us before, ever."
DeFoor estimated the cost of the vehicles at $150,000.
"Yeah, very upset, but very thankful at the same time because we could have lost all those cars," he said.