Cops: Shoplifters stole 675 pairs of underwear in N. Charleston

Published: Jan. 23, 2013 at 8:27 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:57 PM EST
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Brownlee (left) and Green.
Brownlee (left) and Green.
Walker, Brownlee, and Green. (Source: CCDC)
Walker, Brownlee, and Green. (Source: CCDC)
Walker, Brownlee, and Green.
Walker, Brownlee, and Green.

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Bond was set at more than $100,000 each for three women accused of stealing merchandise from multiple stores and intentionally striking a Mt. Pleasant cop in the parking lot of the Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre which led to a high-speed chase up Interstate 26 and into North Charleston Wednesday afternoon.

The suspects are 23-year-old Shaneah Walker, 20-year-old Kelvinisha LaToya Green, and 22-year-old Lachavia Quanisha Brownlee. All three suspects are from Miami, Florida, and drove up with the specific intent to steal from stores, authorities said.

They are all charged with first-degree assault and battery and shoplifting. Brownlee, the driver, is also charged with failure to stop for blue lights.

Bond was set at $165,792 for Brownlee, $104,250 for Green and $106,390 for Walker. During the bond hearing, when Brownlee was asked what she was doing in South Carolina, she said she didn't know.

The other two suspects said that they were in town visiting family.

According to an affidavit released on Thursday, it all started around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, when the three women carrying Express bags entered the Victoria's Secret at Northwoods Mall. Police say the women removed merchandise from display shelves and placed them in their bags.

Store officials told investigators that the women stole 675 pairs of underwear valued at $8,000.

About an hour later, the Mount Pleasant Police Department responded to the Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre where the same women reportedly took merchandise from four stores at the center and attempted to shoplift at the Baby Gap, but were stopped by store personnel.

Ulta Beauty employees told officers that the suspects entered the store, immediately walked to a display and began putting bottles of cologne and perfume into bags they were carrying. Police say two of the suspects then left the store while one attempted to create a diversion, and then left afterwards.

Investigators say the suspects stole a total of $1646 worth of merchandise from the store.

The suspects were also spotted by store personnel at the Gymboree, where authorities say one of the women placed two pieces of clothing into a bag she was carrying.

The manager at American Eagle, who had been alerted to the shoplifters by the Gymboree manager, said she then spotted the three suspects in her store. According to the manager, one of the suspects came to the register with an "old looking receipt" and appeared to be returning merchandise.

According to police, as the manager spoke to the women, the suspects attempted to stay behind the clothes racks. Authorities say one of the suspects was then spotted taking two sandals worth $65.

The three women also reportedly stole $750 worth of underwear at Victoria's Secret. An employee at the store said the three women triggered a security barrier alert as they were leaving the store.

A police report states that the "larger female" said,"Oh my god," and handed the employee a pair of underwear that was on her shoulder. Authorities say the three suspects then stayed between the store security barriers and then took off.

Store personnel said they conducted an inventory and discovered that 70 pairs of underwear, which were stored in four drawers, had been stolen.

Police say the trio had also attempted to steal items from Baby Gap but became "frustrated" after two managers, who were aware of the suspects' descriptions, began to watch their activities.

According to Major Stan Gragg with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, a police officer investigating the multiple thefts, spotted the suspects driving a silver vehicle.

An affidavit states that the suspects ran away from the officer towards their car. Police say Brownlee got in the driver's seat as the officer was holding the suspect's arms trying to stop her. Court records state the passenger in the car then put the car in reverse.

According to the affidavit,  Brownlee the hit the accelerator causing the officer to be dragged 30 feet. The officer then fell to the ground and suffered injuries to her forehead, swelling and abrasions, an injury to her left knee and multiple scrapes and bruises.

Officers patrolled the area and located the vehicle traveling southbound on Coleman Boulevard and attempted to initiate a traffic stop at Moultrie Plaza, located at 426 Coleman Boulevard, a Mt. Pleasant police report states.

The suspects refused to stop and began evasive driving in an attempt to elude apprehension.  A police report states the suspects traveled as speeds as high as 110 miles per hour as they neared the Ravenel Bridge.

An affidavit states that one of the suspects said,"I am not going to jail. I'm not going to stop."

Brownlee drove very recklessly on the bridge before exiting to Interstate 26 and leading officers on a westbound chase, weaving in and out of traffic and causing other motorists to run off the roadway, the report states.

Another report states North Charleston police became involved in the chase as Brownlee exited onto Dorchester Road, and then right onto South Allen Street, where it collided with a residential fence.  Brownlee then got back onto Dorchester Road and back onto Interstate 26, where stop sticks were deployed.

The suspects left the road on I-26 after passing the Montague Avenue exit, went over an embankment, and back onto the exit ramp before turning onto Montague Avenue.

Brownlee then turned right onto Rivers Avenue before cutting into a neighborhood on Morningside Drive, according to another report.

The suspects then crashed into a free-standing garage. An affidavit states that officers found merchandise from Ulta Beauty, Gymboree, American Eagle and Victoria's Secret were found in the suspects' vehicle. Police say they also found stolen merchandise from the suspect's motel room.

North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor previously said the suspects struck another motorist on Dorchester Road at Kent Street after entering North Charleston via Interstate 526.  That information is not confirmed in the incident report from Mt. Pleasant police.

The Mt. Pleasant police officer was taken to Medical University of South Carolina for treatment.  According to an incident report, her injuries were minor, as she only received a large bump on the left side of the forehead.

She was treated and released from the hospital.

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