NORTH AUGUSTA A woman scared away a would-be armed robber with her loud scream Tuesday, leading South Carolina and Georgia law enforcement agencies to a suspect that had been on the run.
Larry Jerome Rainey, 43, was charged with possession of a firearm, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and fleeing or attempting to elude police, according to a Richmond County Jail official. He remains there after attempting to rob a woman in North Augusta and initiating a chase from law enforcement in Augusta and North Augusta.
Police believe Mr. Rainey attempted to rob a 53-year-old woman at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Shoppes at North Augusta around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, North Augusta Department of Public Safety Det. Tim Thornton said in a news release. The woman told police she was packing her purchased items in her car when someone approached her from behind and said dont move. The victim said she thought it was a friend playing a joke on her. When she turned around, the suspect pointed a semi-automatic pistol at her stomach. She screamed as loud as possible, and Mr. Rainey, startled by her reaction, jumped in his car and left going toward Knox Avenue, Det. Thornton said.
Officers in unmarked patrol cars spotted the suspects vehicle, an old black and white police car, headed toward Georgia Avenue towards the 13th Street Bridge.
Richmond County Sheriffs deputies began following the suspect once he entered downtown Augusta, but North Augusta officers still continued to follow the suspect at a slow speed.
Richmond County Sheriffs deputies attempted to stop Mr. Rainey near Sandbar Ferry Road, but he sped up and drove onto Bobby Jones Expressway toward South Carolina, Det. Thornton said. He lost control of his vehicle, and jumped out of it to flee the scene while the vehicle was still in gear. His car rolled down a ramp, and hit a North Augusta Department of Public Safety patrol car.
Mr. Rainey is being held at the Richmond County Jail, but also faces charges in South Carolina including Tuesdays armed robbery. Police believe he is connected to the purse snatching of an elderly woman in Williston, and other crimes in North Augusta and Aiken County.
He will remain in the Richmond County Jail pending extradition, according to authorities.