A shoplifting incident that began Thursday afternoon at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on West Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville led authorities on a high-speed chase that went through six municipalities and two counties before ending in a wreck.
Midway police Officer Mark Rich, who picked up the chase in Midway, said the suspects were leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot when a Georgia State Patrol trooper tried to initiate a traffic stop based on emergency radio traffic of the theft.
The vehicle, which had three occupants inside, refused to stop and headed toward Walthourville, going through Allenhurst, then onto E.B. Cooper Highway toward Riceboro. In Riceboro, the vehicle made a left turn onto Highway 17, going toward Midway.
Rich said he picked up the chase behind the trooper along with deputies from Liberty County. Rich said they attempted to use the PIT, or prevision immobilization technique, maneuver, but they were unable to execute the maneuver because the vehicle was traveling in excess of 100 mph.
The suspects were traveling in the northbound lane but crossed over into oncoming traffic on the southbound lane after they passed Clarktown Road in southern Bryan County.
Bryan County deputies were waiting for the vehicle to pass in the northbound lane with stop sticks and had to quickly deploy the stop sticks onto the southbound lane when the vehicle approached. The stop sticks flattened all four of the vehicle’s tires.
The vehicle ended up in a wreck in a construction zone across from the KOA Campground on Highway 17 in Richmond Hill.
The suspects attempted to flee. Two were apprehended, while a third, described as a white male wearing a dark tank top and missing a shoe, is at large, police said.