Lincoln County police chase ends in suspect’s arrest on drug charges

Lincoln County police chase ends in suspect’s arrest on drug charges
Thomas Utah McDonald (Source: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

DENVER, NC (WBTV) - A police chase that spanned several miles took place in Lincoln County Saturday evening after a suspect with multiple arrest orders was observed behaving suspiciously in a Walmart parking lot.

At around 9:00 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies noticed a tan pickup truck moving from one parking space to another at the Walmart in Denver. Soon after, the driver exited the lot and pulled onto NC 73 Highway to cross the street and visit a nearby convenience store.

The deputy recognized the driver when he exited the vehicle at the convenience store as Thomas Utah McDonald, 24. A criminal search on McDonald was performed at that time and the deputy determined that he had arrest orders in Mecklenburg and Catawba Counties.

Upon learning this information, the deputy attempted to initiate an arrest and activated his siren but McDonald fled onto Highway 73 before heading north on NC 16 Highway. McDonald then turned onto Optimist Club Road and several other streets before returning to St. James Church Road where he pulled into a driveway and got out of the vehicle.

The deputy in the chase placed McDonald in custody at this time. During the initial search of his vehicle, police found a briefcase containing marijuana, drug paraphernalia, empty plastic bags and digital scales. McDonald was charged with fleeing to elude arrest, felony possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, driving left-of-center, failure to stop at a stop light, driving while license revoked and speeding 15 mph over the limit.

McDonald was placed in custody at the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under secured bond.

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