CCSO: Investigation into stolen ATV leads to high-speed pursuit into S.C.

CCSO: Investigation into stolen ATV leads to high-speed pursuit into S.C.
Samantha Kirsch (Source: CCSO)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Shortly after recovering a stolen ATV early Tuesday morning, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a pursuit, which ended with an arrest in South Carolina.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Oct. 13, deputies responded to a residence on Bayside Drive in Nakina in reference to the theft of a four-wheeler.

“While traveling towards the location of the incident, a deputy came upon a four wheeler, driven by a white male, on Old Tram Road,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. "The deputy activated his lights and siren but the driver failed to stop. Deputies pursued the four-wheeler. The driver continued to flee from deputies by turning into a soybean field off of Lebanon Church Road and driving towards the woods at the end of the field. The male jumped from the four-wheeler, and ran into the woods on foot. K-9 Cooper was deployed to track the suspect. K-9 Cooper tracked the suspect until he could no longer track him due to high water.

“During the track, a handgun, knife, two shoes, and a hat were located on K-9 Cooper’s track.”

The four-wheeler, which had its ignition damaged during the incident, was returned to the owner.

According to the sheriff’s office, a witness provided a description of a Dodge Charger which was seen near the victim’s residence at the same time as the larceny.

A deputy located a Dodge Charger matching the description on Bayside Drive, and attempted a traffic stop. The car accelerated and a pursuit began, reportedly reaching speeds over 120 miles per hour.

“The pursuit continued into SC, then back towards NC, when the suspect vehicle stopped at the intersection of Sandy Bluff and 410 SC, due to a mechanical issue,” the news release said. “The vehicle was occupied by the driver, Samantha Elizabeth Kirsch, and a male passenger. At this time, Horry County Police Department arrived on scene. Kirsch was detained by Horry County Police Department and charged with possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. She was transported to J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where she is currently being held.

“The vehicle was towed by Horry County Police Department. On October 13th, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on the suspect vehicle. During the search, investigators located a loaded handgun concealed underneath the passenger seat, ammunition, opened beer cans in the front seat cup holders, brass knuckles in the passenger door, and a knife.”

Officials say that Kirsch faces the following charges in N.C.:

  • felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle
  • felony conspire to commit felony larceny
  • citation for failure to heed to light/siren
  • citation for reckless driving to endanger
  • citation for failure to stop for a stop sign

The sheriff’s office says the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.

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