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Elgin man faces 14 charges from September chase

KCSO investigation led to arrest Monday

Posted: November 1, 2018 5:17 p.m.
Updated: November 2, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Provided by the Kershaw County Detention Center/

Geavontay Lamar Mills

An Elgin man faces 14 charges -- 13 by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) one from the Elgin Police Department (EPD) stemming from a high speed chase in early September involving S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troopers and Richland County Sheriffs’ Department deputies and that ended on I-26 in Richland County.

Although he originally escaped on foot, Kershaw County deputies arrested Geavontay Lamar Mills, 34, of Smyrna Road, Elgin, on Monday following an investigation that began after the chase on Sept. 9.

According to a KCSO incident report, a deputy was en route to the sheriff’s office when he spotted a blue Ford F-250 pickup truck with its flashers pulling a black dump trailer behind it at Madness Motorcycles on Main Street in Elgin. When the deputy pulled next to the F-250, the driver -- later identified as Mills -- pulled off, spinning the truck’s tires.

The deputy immediately turned around and turned on his blue lights and began a pursuit. Mills reportedly took a quick left on Pine Street, disregarding a stop sign at White Pond Road, and sped up to 95 mph on White Pond Road. SCHP troopers took the lead after Mills reportedly got on I-20 westbound, reading speeds of more than 100 mph.

In Richland County, Mills reportedly exited on to I-77 south with speeds continuing at more than 100 mph. The chase reached I-26 east where the Kershaw County deputy managed to get in front of the F-250 and slow down enough until Mills reportedly came to a stop.

Mills allegedly exited the truck and ran across to the westbound side of I-26 after seeing a trooper standing at a wood line. Lexington County deputies assisted along with Richland County’s dog team and began tracking Mills, but were unable to locate him. At the time, troopers were unable to give a description of the driver.

According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said investigators arrested Mills on Monday not only as a result of what happened during the Sept. 9 chase on interstates 20, 26 and 77, but due to an investigation that actually stretches back to May.

“Geovontay Mills is a serial thief who is also the prime suspect in numerous vehicle trailer thefts in other counties,” Matthews said in the press release. “Two very determined KCSO investigators were able to build a case against Mills and get him off the street.”

That investigation ultimately led to the 14 charges by the KCSO and EPD. Elgin is charging Mills with one count of grand larceny between $2,000 and $10,000. County deputies are charging him with three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon, possession of a stolen vehicle less than $2,000, receiving a vehicle with a falsified vehicle identification number, two counts possession of a stolen vehicle more than $10,000, two counts of trespassing, grand larceny more than $10,000, grand larceny between $2,000 and $10,000, receiving stolen goods under $2,000, and failure to stop for blue lights.

In May, Matthews said, the KCSO began receiving numerous reports of stolen trailer, heavy equipment and vehicles, specifically Ford F-250 trucks. The sheriff said the investigators began chasing down leads, but made a “positive turn” when the deputy spotted the blue Ford F-250 Mills was allegedly using to pull the dump trailer behind him on Sept. 9.
KCSO investigators managed to obtain physical evidence from that truck to identify Mills as the driver, and additional physical and electronic evidence further identified Mills, providing investigators with the location where he was ultimately taken into custody, according to the press release.

Matthews said investigators executed a search warrant at Mills’ Smyrna Road address in Elgin and recovered a Ford F-250 stolen out of Martinsville, Va., and three handguns.

“KCSO investigators are continuing to work closely with investigators from Richland County and the Rock Hill Police Department, which are investigating multiple vehicle and trailer thefts,” Matthew said, indicating Mills is a prime suspect in at least several of those thefts.

According to online court records, Mills has only been charged previously in Kershaw County with minor traffic offenses.

Richland County court records show Mills has been arrested previously there for possession of burglary tools, attempted burglary (second), grand larceny between $1,000 and $5,000, and a handful of traffic violations. The attempted burglary charge came about from an Oct. 2006 arrest for which Mills was sentenced to nine years in jail, but suspended to three years probation.

In Lexington County, Mills has previously been arrested for “abandonment and maltreatment,” breaking into motor vehicles, criminal conspiracy, larceny, grand larceny more than $5,000, failure to return rented objects of $2,000 or less, and several traffic violations. In 2009, Mills pleaded guilty in Lexington County to second-degree (violent) burglary, for which he was sentenced to eight years in prison, ordered to serve four of those years with the other four suspended upon three years’ probation and $500 restitution.

Mills has also been charged with traffic violations in Calhoun County.

According to the KCSO’s press release, Mills’ “extensive” criminal record also includes arrests for assault and battery with intent to kill, third-degree burglary, unlawful carrying of a weapon, giving false information, possession of drug paraphernalia, larceny, marijuana possession, unlawful use of a blue light, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, driving on the wrong side of the road, and failing to use headlights when required.

Mills continues to be held at the Kershaw County Detention Center on a total of nearly $106,000 bond.

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