South Carolina

After swiping ribs, accused shoplifters led SC police on chase that reached 80 mph, cops say

Kenneth Nichols, left, and Timothy Burt, right, were arrested after a high-speed chase in Spartanburg County, SC, after which deputies found ribs that had been shoplifted from a store.
Kenneth Nichols, left, and Timothy Burt, right, were arrested after a high-speed chase in Spartanburg County, SC, after which deputies found ribs that had been shoplifted from a store. Spartanburg County Detention Center

A high-speed chase in South Carolina ended with deputies arresting two accused shoplifters who had several packs of stolen ribs in the car, according to a report.

The chase happened Tuesday afternoon in Spartanburg County and began when a Honda Civic left a gas station at Hayne and Sibley streets at a high rate of speed, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report.

The driver of the Honda did not stop for lights and sirens and blew through a stop sign at an intersection, deputies said. Officers followed the car for 18 minutes, with the chase lasting 15 miles and reaching speeds of 80 mph, according to the sheriff’s office.

The car stopped on East Crescent Road.

Deputies said the driver, identified as Kenneth Nichols, had a suspended driver’s license and that this was his fourth offense of driving under suspension. He was charged with reckless driving, driving under suspension, failure to stop for blue lights and habitual offender, according to the report.

The front seat passenger, identified as Timothy Burt, got out of the car and laid on the ground.

“He advised me that he told the driver to stop and let him out several times but he would not,” the deputy wrote in the report. “He stated that the driver told him he could not go back to prison.”

Inside the car, deputies found four cases of Bud Light and a shopping basket from Ingle’s containing four packs of ribs, the report states. The items were still cold and had condensation on them.

Burt told deputies that Nichols walked out of the store with the ribs without paying for them, and that the beer already was in the car.

Both men had previously been charged with shoplifting, and now face an additional count for Tuesday’s theft, the sheriff’s office said.

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