Woman arrested after fleeing in Richmond County police car

A North Carolina woman was recaptured early today after police say she wriggled out of her handcuffs and drove away in a Richmond County patrol car following her arrest for a suspected armed robbery.

Ronda Renee Matthews, 37, of Hope Mills, N.C., was charged with one count of armed robbery, one count of theft by taking of a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing and attempting to elude, one count of interference with government property, one count of leaving the scene of an accident and one count of reckless driving, according to Richmond County Jail records.

“She was able to get out of her handcuffs and at some point after that she most likely crawled through the partition,” said Lt. Scott Peebles.

Lt. Peebles said Ms. Matthews hit an unknown object that “caused pretty significant damage to the car” and forced her to eventually surrender after several other patrol cars pursued her.

The incident followed a traffic stop at Deans Bridge Road on suspicion of an armed robbery outside a Gordon Highway Waffle House.

An Augusta man had reported being robbed at gunpoint while walking back to his vehicle from the eatery late Sunday night, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s incident report. The man told police the suspects took $45 from him.

Edward Lamont Murdaugh, 24, of Bamberg, S.C., was charged with one count of armed robbery, one count of possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and one count of an altered identification mark, according to Richmond County jail records.

Mr. Murdaugh was in a separate patrol car when Ms. Matthews took the car, Lt. Peebles said.

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