Crime & Public Safety

Suspect steals $140 worth of champagne — then flips car during Bluffton police chase, report says

The car a 20-year-old Savannah man was driving flipped over and into a ditch Thursday on Fording Island Road after he shoplifted two bottles of champagne from a Bluffton grocery store, a Bluffton Police Department report details.

Lovett Leonard Foster-Holmes faces charges of shoplifting, failure to stop for blue lights, fleeing to evade arrest, and simple possession of marijuana, according to Beaufort County court documents.

At the time of his arrest, Foster-Holmes was wanted out of Savannah for aggravated assault with a gun and out of Pooler for first-degree burglary, according to an email from Bluffton Police.

Around 6:20 p.m., an officer responded to a report of shoplifting at the Kroger on Belfair Drive when he was alerted that one of the two suspects fled the scene in a silver Kia, the report said.

While surveying the area of shops and restaurants near the grocery store, he saw the Kia turn in to the parking lot, confirmed it was the suspect’s vehicle, and activated his blue lights and sirens.

The Kia “immediately began to accelerate and traveled quickly to exit the area,” before driving over the median to turn onto Fording Island Road, according to the report.

“I continued to pursue the vehicle and had to pause to enter onto Fording Island Road as traffic was condensed at this time,” the officer wrote.

The car continued to move at a high rate of speed, weaving through traffic, until it veered off the road and flipped into the ditch at the intersection of Fording Island and Pinckney Colony Roads, the report said, which is about two miles from the Kroger.

The car — which was a rental — struck the stop sign before it flipped, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol, who also reported to the scene of the crash.

The suspect crawled out of the car and ran a short distance before being detained by another officer, according to the report.

When officers searched the car, they found two pellet guns that looked similar to real guns, $320 of counterfeit money, 6.49 grams of weed, a scale, a grinder, and two phones, the report said.

Foster-Holmes was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital with lacerations to his forehead and arms from the crash before he was booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center at 10:56 p.m. Thursday and still confined as of Friday afternoon, according to the jail log.

The total bond for the four charges he faces in Beaufort County is $8,827, court documents say.

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Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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