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Man wanted in Columbus County crime spree arrested after police chase

Thomas Tony Bradley
Thomas Tony Bradley(Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A suspect wanted in connection with a multi-day crime spree in Columbus County was arrested after crashing his vehicle during a chase with South Carolina law enforcement over the weekend.

A news release from the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office states that Thomas Tony Bradley, 50, of Loris, S.C., was involved in a chase with Loris and Horry County police that crossed over into Columbus County on Sept. 11.

Bradley wrecked his Ford Explorer in the front yard of a home on Pine Circle Drive, and then ran off on foot. He was eventually taken into custody.

The alleged crime spree began on Sept. 7 when Bradley used a large concrete block to break into 701 Food and Tobacco and steal $900 worth of tobacco products, deputies say.

The next day, Bradley allegedly stole a rim and tire from a vehicle on James B. White Highway South, switching it out when one of a different size.

On Sept. 9, a woman was feeding her child in the back seat of her vehicle at the Dollar General in Williams Township, when Bradley broke into the vehicle and stole her purse. The victim confronted Bradley who allegedly threw the purse at her and said he was going to “get her,” according to deputies. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

While this was going on, Bradley’s wife, Crystal Lovette Smith, allegedly loaded up a $281 worth of items into a cart and left the Dollar General without paying. She was eventually arrested on a misdemeanor larceny charge on Sept. 14.

On Sept. 10, Bradley allegedly broke into the Sidney Service Mart on James B. White Highway South and stole approximately $720 worth of tobacco products. Surveillance video captured Bradley leaving in his wife’s Ford Explorer.

Additionally, Tabor City police charged Bradley with stealing seven cases of Bud Light from Food Lion on Sept. 9.

Bradley was booked into the Columbus County Detention Center under a $29,000 bond.

Additional charges from South Carolina law enforcement are possible, deputies say.

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