Deputies: Upstate man claims he had 'bad timing' after caught running out of mall with arm full of clothes

Rodney Dennis Donnelly. (Source: SCSO)

An Upstate man was arrested on Saturday after deputies say he stole nearly $400 worth of merchandise from the mall and held a woman against her will, who was not in on the scheme.

Deputies arrested Rodney Dennis Donnelly, 48 of Spartanburg, and charged him with kidnapping, resisting arrest and shoplifting less than $2,000.

On Saturday, a deputy patrolling Westgate Mall observed an illegally parked vehicle on the south side of the Sears occupied by a female passenger. Shortly after, the deputy noticed a man, later identified as Donnelly, run out of Sears with an arm full of clothing with tags on them.

The deputy then pursued the vehicle and noticed the female passenger yelling at Donnelly and acting frantically. He activated his blue lights and siren and tried to get the vehicle to pull over.

Per the incident report, Donnelly refused to stop for the deputy. He said, he could also see the female’s hands coming out of the window in panic, and her door opening repeatedly as she was trying to escape the vehicle. The deputy said the woman repeatedly tried to jump out of the moving vehicle, but it appeared Donnelly was reaching for her.

Eventually, Donnelly stopped the car and the female passenger jumped out of the car and ran toward the deputy. The deputy then drew his gun and slowly approached Donnelly, who was still sitting in the car.

Donnelly admitted to the deputy that he stole clothing articles from Sears and that “he had bad timing,” the incident report said. He also said the female passenger was not involved in the incident. He said, he ran because he did not want to go back to jail, which he was just released from.

The female passenger said she was afraid for her life during the incident and was being held against her will. She said she asked Donnelly for a ride home from Walmart and he said after he picked her up he had to stop at Sears briefly to get something for his mom. She said she did not know he was going to steal anything.

The stolen clothing, totaling $360, was returned to Sears.

Donnelly’s total bond for his charges was set at $21,000. He is currently behind bars at the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office.

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