Cherryvale woman steals, wrecks Sumter County patrol car, two more

Slipped out of handcuffs; chase exceeded 100 mph


A 21-year-old woman is facing multiple charges after she wrecked three vehicles — including a sheriff's deputy patrol car that she stole while she was being detained — during early morning joyrides on Wednesday.

About 8 a.m. Dec. 27, Mia Victoria Thornton, of Cherryvale Drive, allegedly drove away in her boyfriend’s vehicle, and it broke down near Eagle Road between Broad Street and Patriot Parkway, according to an incident report.

She then supposedly began walking toward town and caught a ride with a 72-year-old Wedgefield man who offered to help get her boyfriend's car started but could not.

While in the vehicle, a 2004 Dodge Ram, Thornton reportedly grabbed the steering wheel as it approached traffic on Pitts Road and forced the vehicle into oncoming traffic. The two vehicles' mirrors collided, according to witness statements in the report.

When the man got out to check on the occupant of the other vehicle, a 37-year-old Sumter woman driving a Cadillac Escalade, Thornton reportedly got behind the wheel of the Dodge Ram and fled the area when the two drivers mentioned needing to call the police.

She wrecked on Pinewood Road a few minutes later and again began walking toward town.

A tow truck driver brought Thornton back to the second wrecked vehicle on Pinewood Road, where a trooper from S.C. Highway Patrol had responded and called for a deputy to assist him, states a news release.

Thornton was handcuffed and placed in the back of the deputy’s vehicle, but she was able to slip one of her hands from the cuffs and crawl through a porthole window into the front seat.

She then, driving the marked patrol car, led deputies on a 15-minute chase at speeds that exceeded 100 miles per hour before she crashed through a gate and fence, and then hit a tree in Sumter Industrial Park.

Approximately $15,000 in damage was caused at the industrial park, and damage to the patrol car is estimated to be more than $10,000. Damage to the good Samaritan’s vehicle has not been estimated, according to the release.

Thornton is charged with grand larceny; assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature; driving under a first suspension; malicious injury to property; possession, concealment, sale or disposal of a stolen vehicle; and failure to stop for a blue light and siren. She is scheduled to have a bond hearing at 2 p.m. today at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.