NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. — Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a burglary in Newberry County after help from a concerned citizen and a high-speed chase.
Ryan Lamar Jones, 31, from Columbia, and Willie Lee Hannah II, 26, from West Columbia were arrested for burglary, larceny, conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools.Hannah will also be charged with failure to stop for a law enforcement vehicle. Jones has a previous history of burglary convictions and is currently on probation for burglary.
According to reports, around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, a citizen noticed two men breaking into Smitty's Country Store. When the suspects went into the store, the citizen followed them and called 911, keeping law enforcement updated.
Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle with blue lights and sire but the van the suspects were driving attempted to flee from officers. The van attempted to strike the vehicles of law enforcement.
The van lost control while attempting to get onto I-26 at the SC Highway 219 interchange and came to a stop in a grassy area. One of the suspects was immediately taken into custody, and the other ran but was taken into custody a few minutes later, according to law enforcement.
The chase spanned five miles through the City of Newberry onto Highway 219 reaching speeds of about ninety miles per hour.
Sheriff Foster believed that the two suspects were part of a criminal organization that specializes in burglaries of convenience stores across the state. This investigation is ongoing.
The Newberry Police Department and South Carolina Highway Patrol assisted during the incident.