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SC suspect steals patrol vehicle, leads pursuit

Suspect got into a marked Georgetown County Sheriff's patrol car and led police on a pursuit

By Maya T. Prabhu and Tonya Root
The Sun News

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. — A Surfside Beach man led police on a chase from Murrells Inlet to North Carolina going in excess of 120 miles per hour before officers were able to flatten three tires on the patrol vehicle and apprehend him, authorities said.

Camilo Quiroga Diaz, 35, was charged Sunday with grand larceny and failure to stop for blue lights. He was being held at the Georgetown County Detention Center.

According to a Georgetown County Sheriff's Office press release, deputies responded to the Waccamaw Community Hospital around 8:30 a.m. and learned that Diaz, a patient at the hospital on mental commitment papers, walked away from the facility.

Witnesses told police Diaz was seen walking down U.S. Highway 17 bypass in the Murrells Inlet area. Deputies attempted to take him into custody, but Diaz ran and police chased him on foot.

Diaz got into a marked Georgetown County Sheriff's patrol car and led police through Horry County to Highway 904 west of Tabor City, N.C., where N.C. Highway Patrol took him into custody.

Georgetown County Sheriff's deputies were assisted during the chase by the S.C. Highway Patrol, Horry County Police Department, Columbus County Sheriff's Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol.

The case is under administrative review as to the sheriff's deputy's actions before, during and after the vehicle was stolen.

In an Horry County police report, officers were called about the Dodge Charger patrol car coming into Horry County and they assisted with the chase from Murrells Inlet until it exited at the North Carolina state line. The pursuit went along S.C. 544 into Conway and continued along U.S. 701 North.

In the report, officers noted that stop sticks were successfully used in Conway and they flatted three of the vehicle's tires, but the suspect kept driving.

"After the three flattened tires fell off of the stolen patrol vehicle and other vehicle parts, the suspect maintained speeds of 30 miles per hour upward to 70 miles per hour," the officer wrote in the report.

At one point, Diaz contacted dispatchers and demanded to speak to someone with the CIA, according to the report.

On Monday, Carrie Cuthbertson, Georgetown County Sheriff's public information officer, said more information will be released from the department later.

Copyright 2014 The Sun News


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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