CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) The Clemson Police Department is commending their officers for their alertness and attentiveness that helped lead to the arrest of two men believed to be connected to a spree of car break-ins.
A press release from the department says patrolling officers observed a speeding vehicle on Thursday, August 15 around 11:30 p.m. They saw the dark colored car travel through downtown with two people inside.
Officers tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the suspect driver increased speed - and a chase ensued.
The pursuit turned to a foot chase when the vehicle found itself cornered by officers at the end of a dead-end street. Police say both suspects fled on foot in different directions.
One of the suspects was later found trying to swim from the shore of Lake Hartwell.
The other wasn't apprehended until the next day, when officers say they responded to a suspicious persons call involving a man asleep on a balcony of a local business. Upon arrival, police found the man where he had been described - with a loaded pistol sitting on his stomach.
Through their investigation, police determined that the suspect vehicle involved in the chase was actually stolen out of Greenville County.
Inside, officers say they discovered several items reported stolen from vehicle break-ins spanning from Georgia to the Upstate.
30-year-old Vonnie Earl Locklear, of Greenville, was charged with the following:
- Public Disorderly Conduct
- Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol
- 3 Counts of Receiving Stolen Goods
- Breaking Into a Motor Vehicle
- Pettit Larceny
Locklear is currently being held at the Clemson City Jail on a $10,000.00 surety bond. He's awaiting charges from Toccoa, Georgia; Greenville County; Greenville City; and Stephens County, Georgia.
Wallace Curt Wardlaw, 22 of Greenville, faces the following charges:
- Grand Larceny
- Driving Without a License
- Reckless Driving
- Failure to Stop for a Blue Light
He is currently being held at the Clemson City Jail on a $8,000.00 surety bond and awaiting charges from Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and Toccoa, GA.
Clemson Police say were it not for the alertness and attentiveness of their officers, "there's no telling how many more thefts would have occurred from these two individuals."