Police search for third suspect in Bluffton manhunt

tbarton@islandpacket.comNovember 18, 2011 

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The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has identified a 23-year-old Hardeeville man as the driver of a stolen truck that led deputies on a brief chase Wednesday morning and resulted in a manhunt in Bluffton.

Investigators sought information Friday on the whereabouts of Edward Alonzo Brown III.

An employee at the Hargray substation at 20A Gibbet Road in Bluffton told deputies his white Ford F150, which was unlocked with the keys inside, was stolen from the parking lot sometime overnight.

An officer later spotted the vehicle on Gibbet Road with three men inside. When the officer attempted to pull the truck over, a brief chase ensued that ended after Brown lost control of the truck, according to the Sheriff's Office. The pickup came to rest in a deep trench on the side of S.C. 46, just past the New Riverside traffic circle.

All three men ran into the woods. A canine tracking team was called out, and deputies closed the highway as the truck was removed.

Two of the three suspects were later detained around 1 p.m. by Sun City Hilton Head security and arrested by deputies. Allen Williams, 25 of Hardeeville and Maurice Gardner, Jr., 33 of Savannah were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and fleeing to evade arrest.

At about 12:45 p.m., a resident called security officers while watching the men climb into the back of a moving pickup truck. Security officers stopped the truck and delayed it until deputies arrived, the Sun City release said.

In addition to possession of a stolen vehicle and fleeing to evade arrest charges, Brown is also wanted on charges of failure to stop for blue lights and a third offense for driving under suspension.

Brown's last known address is Walsh Drive in Hardeeville.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact county dispatch at 843-524-2777.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead

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