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A Lancaster man with previous run-ins with the law is again behind bars after leading deputies on a high-speed chase early Saturday morning, Oct. 13.
Jesse Michael James, 46, 4818 Waiters Circle, has been charged with two counts of second-degree burglary and failure to stop for a blue light and siren.
At 2:37 a.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a burglar alarm at the SpeedeeMart store at 1416 Pageland Highway, where the front door was smashed, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office media release.
“Surveillance video showed the suspect smashing the door out and stealing cigarettes, rolled coins and beer from the store,” the release said.
Nearly two hours later – at 5:27 a.m. – deputies went to the Grown Folks Club, 1418 Kershaw Camden Highway, in response to a burglary in progress.
An employee, who was still inside the club, reported the burglary when James began to force his way through the door. The employee, who fled out the back door, was not harmed, the release said.
“Deputies arrived on scene and found a van in the parking lot,” the release said. “As deputies pulled into the parking lot, the van fled the scene. Deputies pursued the vehicle, which failed to stop.”
James, who was the driver and only occupant of the van, continued for several miles without stopping. He disregarded several stop signs, stop lights and reached speeds close to 80 mph during his attempt to escape, the release said.
He eventually crashed into a railroad crossing pole at the intersection of Memorial Park and Old Landsford roads. He fled on foot and was arrested a short distance away.
Deputies found the stolen property from the store and bar inside James’ vehicle.
He is being jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center on a $70,000 surety bond.
In June 2011, James was sentenced to five years in prison, which was reduced to 2.5 years and five years probation on burglary and larceny charges, according to the S.C. Judicial Department website.
James was arrested again in February on more burglary and larceny charges. He received a time-served sentence in May for those charges.
“Our patrol division did a great job responding to and working these incidents,” Sheriff Barry Faile said. “I am glad that James is back in jail but this is just another example of how repeat offenders keep causing us problems. It’s frustrating that we have to continue to arrest the same people over and over.”
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152