Man arrested on drug charges steals police car and leads miles-long chase, SC cops say

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What began as a routine traffic stop Monday turned into a miles-long chase after a man arrested on drug charges stole a police car, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

At about 9:20 a.m., officers made a traffic stop near the intersection of Richland Avenue and Lancaster Street near downtown Aiken, the department of public safety said in a news release.

Kevin Kirkland, an occupant of the vehicle, was arrested on a drug charge, according to the release.

Kirkland was handcuffed behind his back and put in the back of a patrol vehicle, but he got into the front of the patrol car and drove off, the department of public safety said.

Information about how Kirkland maneuvered into the front of the patrol vehicle and was able to get his hands free to drive was not available.

Officers began a pursuit that went through Aiken, Graniteville, and the area along S.C. 421, as members of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department joined the chase, according to the release.

Kirkland crashed off of Glenwood Road and was again taken into custody, the department of public safety said. There was no word what caused Kirkland to crash, or how fast he was driving.

The crash is being investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The department of public safety said Kirkland was taken to a local medical facility for treatment, before he was booked in the Aiken County Detention Center at about 10:30 a.m., jail records show. Further information on Kirkland’s medical condition was not available.

No other injuries were reported.

No bond has been set for Kirkland, according to jail records.

Kirkland was charged with possession with intent to distribute meth, grand larceny, and failure to stop for blue lights and sirens, according to the release. He could face more charges, the department of public safety said.

Aiken County court records show Kirkland has been arrested multiple times in the past dozen years. That includes pending charges from a June 29 arrest when he was charged with stalking, multiple violations of court order of protection and unlawful communication, according to court records.

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