Cellphone GPS helps Rock Hill, SC cops nab carjacking suspect

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

GPS in a victim’s cellphone during a Rock Hill carjacking has led to an arrest of a fugitive sought by police for more than two weeks after the suspect attacked officers.

Deon Donte Harris, was arrested Wednesday by members of the Rock Hill violent crime unit and York County drug agents for the March 29 carjacking of a man at a restaurant on Dave Lyle Boulevard, said Capt. Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department. Harris is charged with carjacking, shoplifting, and resisting arrest.

Carjacking carries up to 20 years in prison for a conviction under South Carolina law.

A cellphone belonging to the victim was in the car, and police tracked it using GPS.

Police found the car, then later, the suspect.

“It was good luck in this case that the phone was on and could be tracked so we could get the car and continue the investigation,” Bollinger said.

The incident started after a shoplifting at Walmart off Dave Lyle Boulevard on March 29, according to Bollinger and police reports. Harris stole a hat that cost $9.96 and was confronted outside the store in the breezeway by Rock Hill officers who were called by store loss prevention employees, police said.

Harris threw punches and started to fight with officers as they tried to place him in handcuffs, police said.

“Then his shirt ripped as the officers were trying to take him into custody and he ran,” Bollinger said.

Harris then ran across Dave Lyle Boulevard to a restaurant across the street.

“Our officers gave chase on foot,” Bollinger said.

Harris then jumped into the passenger seat of a Volvo car occupied by a man waiting for his girlfriend inside the restaurant, according to the report.

Officers arrived at the car and tried to get Harris out, police said. The driver was able to get out of the car, but Harris jumped into the driver seat and fled driving the Volvo.

The driver, who was not hurt, told police that a cellphone remained in the car. Officers found through the cell service provider that the car was stopped on Old Cattle Barn Road. When police from Rock Hill and the York County Sheriff’s office arrived at the scene they found the car but Harris was gone, Bollinger said.

Using surveillance video from Walmart and a tip from the community, police Det. Chris Price identified Harris as the suspect. After two weeks of searching for Harris, officers found him on Sturgis Road in York County Wednesday and took him into custody without further incident, Bollinger said.

Harris was also wanted by South Carolina probation agents after felony convictions in 2018 and 2019 for receiving stolen goods and shoplifting.

Harris remains in the York County jail under a $47,302.50 bond.

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