Suspect in shoplifting escapes from North Augusta squad car

North Augusta Public Safety has called off the manhunt for a suspected shoplifter who escaped a patrol car Saturday night.

Brandon Wesley Tucker has been identified as the man who escaped, according to an e-mail from Sgt. Tim Thornton.

Thorton said an officer picked up a man suspected of shoplifting from the Walmart on Knox Avenue. Loss prevention officers from Walmart told deputies Tucker had thrown something over the fence before they arrived. When a small caliber magazine was found on Tucker, the officers believed it might have been a gun he had tossed.

When the officers went to search for it, Tucker crawled out of the window of the patrol car and ran away. When officers discovered him missing, they started a search involving Aiken County and Richmond County bloodhound teams, Thornton said.

After several hours of following leads, the search was terminated. Tucker remains at large and now faces charges of shoplifting, escape, and assault.

He was last described as wearing a brown sweatshirt and blue jeans.

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