One man faces charges after alleged thefts and a high-speed chase last week.
Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley said on May 20, Sheriff’s Office investigators received surveillance video from Crown Resources on Highway 17 of someone entering motor vehicles at the business the previous weekend.
“They were removing items from inside the vehicles,” said Shirley. “Investigators forwarded that to our Traffic
Unit and to deputies. The Traffic Unit, later on, observed a gray SUV matching the description of the one in the video leaving a pawn shop in Eastanollee.”
The sheriff said that deputies attempted to stop the vehicle in question, but it sped away and headed north on Highway 17 towards Toccoa.
“Deputies engaged in a high-speed pursuit and were able to force it off the road on Rose Lane at Whitlock Mortuary,” said Shirley. “There was no damage to any of the vehicles. No vehicles were hit. It was just a close maneuver to push the car off of the road.”
According to Shirley, the deputy conducted the maneuver to prevent the vehicle from entering the area of Stephens County Middle School and endangering those traveling around the school.
Shirley said once deputies stopped the vehicle, they arrested the driver, identified as 37-year-old Trenton Westcott Rice of Franklin County.
The sheriff said that Rice and the vehicle matched that which investigators saw in the surveillance video.
Shirley also said Rice has been tied to a burglary that occurred on that same day, May 20, on Avalon Road.
“During a subsequent investigation, it was learned that the individual (Rice) also burglarized a house that same day and stole a TV after forcing entry to the residence and sold it at the pawn shop in Eastanollee,” said Shirley. “That TV was recovered.
Shirley said his office has charged Rice with two counts of Entering an Auto, one count of Residential Burglary, and numerous traffic violations including Fleeing, Reckless Driving, and Speeding.
The sheriff added Rice also faces charges in connection to burglaries in Franklin County.
Rice remains in the Stephens County Jail at last report with bond set at $41,500.