A Sumter woman is facing a slew of charges after reportedly stealing and wrecking several cars, including a deputy's patrol car, Wednesday morning, according to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.
Mia Victoria Thornton, 21, of Sumter is being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, charged with grand larceny and failure to stop for a blue light and siren. Deputies say additional charges are expected.
Deputies say Thornton's spree began around 8 a.m. when she reportedly took her boyfriend's vehicle without his permission and wrecked it near Eagle Road.
According to investigators, Thornton then began walking toward town, where she caught a ride with a Good Samaritan.
Major Terrance Colclough with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office says as they approached other traffic on Pinewood Road, she reportedly grabbed the steering wheel, forcing the vehicle into another vehicle.
"While the Good Samaritan got out to check on the passenger of the vehicle that he struck, Ms. Thornton took his vehicle," explained Colclough.
A few minutes later, Thornton reportedly wrecked that stolen vehicle on Pinewood Road, deputies say.
As Thornton began walking back toward town, investigators say a tow truck driver reportedly picked her up and brought her back to the wrecked vehicle on Pinewood Road, where a SC Highway Patrol trooper had responded and called for a deputy to assist.
Investigators say Thornton was then handcuffed and placed in the rear of the deputy's vehicle. However, Colclough says it wasn't over there.
"Mia was able to remove one of her handcuffs. Mia climbed through the window of one of our patrol cars and ended up taking one of our patrol cars," said Colclough.
Thornton then led deputies on a 15-minute chase with speeds that exceeded 100 miles an hour, according to deputies. Investigators say the chase ended when Thornton crashed through a gate and fence and then plowed into a tree at Sumter Industrial Park.
Scan Kersey says he witnessed the crash.
"All of a sudden I turned around and I start seeing smoke like something had blown up. Looked like a cop car had ran straight into the tree and then everybody started running and more police showed up and everything," said Kersey.
Damages at the Industrial Park business are estimated at about $15,000, investigators say. There has been no estimate damage to the Good Samaritan's car at this time. Damage to the patrol car is estimated at more than $10,000, according to deputies.
There will be a bond hearing Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.