Woman flees from Sumter police with grandchild in car

ccope@thestate.comAugust 31, 2013 


— A 41-year-old woman on the lam from law enforcement led police on a 10-mile chase with her granddaughter in the car before surrendering.

Susie Loretta Thomas, who was wanted in several counties for financial crimes, disregarded a traffic signal at the intersection of Guignard Drive and Oakland Avenue in downtown Sumter around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police.

When she failed to stop, officers chased her along McCray’s Mill Road to Bethel Church Road. Thomas’s vehicle made minor contact with another vehicle, causing some damage, police said, and officers from the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office joined the chase.

Thomas’s grandchild, a juvenile, was unrestrained in the vehicle. Caseworkers with the Department of Social Services responded and placed the child in the custody of a family member.

Thomas was booked at the Sumter Lee Regional Detention Center on charges of disregarding a traffic signal, disregarding a stop sign, reckless driving, failure to stop for blue lights and siren, violation of child restraint laws, second-offense driving under suspension and child endangerment.

Thomas also was wanted by the Coward Police Department, Saluda County Sheriff’s Department, Hartsville Police Department and Johnsonville Police Department for forgery and counterfeiting offenses. Those agencies were notified of her arrest.

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