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Two Burglary Suspects in Custody, Third Still at Large

web posted July 30, 2014

EDGEFIELD An Edgefield County Sheriff's Deputy on patrol around 2:30 am Tuesday spotted a truck backing up to an enclosed trailer at a home on Columbia Road with no lights on and thought it was suspicious. When he turned around to check on the truck, the truck exited the property at a high rate of speed and a chase ensued. That simple property check touched off an all night manhunt involving six law enforcement agencies that resulted in two arrests.

When the deputy reported in to dispatch he was already in a high speed chase with the black truck with lawn equipment in the back heading towards Johnston on Highway 23. Edgefield Police also joined the chase which ended when the driver diverted off the road and into a field across from Strom Thurmond High School. The driver continued across the field and then drove the truck into a pond, located behind a two story white house. The driver and passenger jumped out of the truck and dove into the pond.

As additional deputies and officers arrived they set up a perimeter to try to keep the suspects from escaping. Officers from Edgefield and Johnston Police, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Highway Patrol and SLED assisted in the search. DNR arrived with a boat to search the pond and SLED provided air support. The Sheriff's Bloodhound Team also responded to the scene.

The search had been called off between 6 and 7 am without finding the suspects. Then a tip came in that the man and woman was seen crossing Fairway Drive and deputies, who were staged in the area, responded quickly along with the bloodhounds and were able to start tracking the two. An investigator had positioned himself in a nearby grove of pine trees and the suspects ran right into his position and were ordered to the ground at gunpoint.

The driver, identified as Steven Dubose, 30, of Lexington, and his passenger, Jennifer Lostritto, 32, of New Jersey, were taken into custody around 9 am Tuesday morning. They are being held on a custody order at this writing for several serious felony charges.

According to Chief Investigator Randy Doran, as the investigation continued it was discovered there was a third suspect that had stolen a white Chevrolet 4-door Colorado with SC tag number CUG 130 from a home on Stonehenge Road to make his escape.

The black truck the pair used to flee police came back as stolen from Lexington in a reported theft in March of this year (pictured above). In the back of the truck was a riding mower, a backpack leaf blower, a compressor and other items taken from the Stonehenge home. Inside the truck investigators recovered bolt cutters and a pry bar, which are considered burglary tools. Also found was a cell phone and a debit card. All of the items were seized as evidence.

During the chase, Dubose kept swerving into both lanes trying to make the items in the back of the truck to fall out to aid their escape. The only item that fell on the roadway was the leaf blower, which was later recovered. The truck was towed to the Sheriff's impound lot to be processed.

Investigators said the pair hid in the pond all night and they were able to hear DNR officers that were in a boat searching for them talking to each other. They were somehow able to avoid being spotted.

Dubose and Lostritto are being held on pending charges of burglary in the first degree, grand larceny, larceny, possession of burglary tools, fail to stop for blue lights and siren and other possible charges. They are expected to be formally charged on Wednesday.

The third suspect, a white male also from Lexington, is still at large. It is believed he used the stolen truck to drive back to Lexington. A BOLO (be on the look out) has been issued across several counties and the stolen truck has been placed in NCIC, a national crime data center.

At this time it is unknown if the trio has been targeting other properties in Edgefield County. One of the suspects stated the third knew of the location of the lawn mower, giving the impression that this was not their first trip to the county.

There was no information on the third suspect other than he may have a last name of Horton. Investigators were still interviewing Dubose and Lostritto during the day Tuesday.

Edgefield Daily will have updates as more information is released.   


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