Motor vehicle theft suspect arrested after car, foot chase

Goldie Bellinger

Working together, officers with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and the Sumter Police Department placed a 34-year-old suspect in custody Monday afternoon after reports of a stolen vehicle within the city limits culminated in a car and foot chase in the U.S. 15 South area of Sumter County.

The suspect, Goldie Bellinger, 34, Williston, currently faces a charge of grand larceny of more than $10,000.

Officials with the Sumter Police Department first received report around 2 p.m. of a black 2014 Cadillac Escalade stolen from the 500 block of Bultman Drive.  The vehicle had been left running, unlocked and unattended at the time of the theft.

Equipped with GPS monitoring, the stolen vehicle was quickly reported travelling south towards Clarendon County, and deputies first made visual contact with the stolen vehicle near the county line.

The suspect then led officers on a chase along U.S. 15 South for approximately eight miles until swerving off of the northbound lanes of the interstate, across the median and into the southbound lanes, striking two other vehicles in the process, before crashing into several trees off the interstate.  A woman in one of the vehicles struck was transported to Tuomey Regional Medical Center for what was said to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect then fled from the crash site on foot and, while attempting to evade officers in the marshy, wooded area, removed all of his clothing. About 20 minutes later, the suspect, pursued by k-9 units from both the sheriff’s office and city police department, was taken into custody.

One officer with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office involved in the foot chase was also transported to the local hospital from the scene by Sumter County Emergency Medical Services for treatment for heat exhaustion.

Officers from the South Carolina Highway Patrol also assisted in the incident.

Bellinger, now clothed, is being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.  The incident remains under investigation, and more charges are possible.

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