• Woman involved in police chase accused of stealing $100K worth of merchandise

    By: Kristin Leigh

    Updated:

    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - The woman who was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a high-speed police chase ended in a crash in Union County, allegedly stole more than $100,000 in merchandise from The Home Depot stores, investigators said.

    [CHOPPER 9 IMAGES: Children pulled from SUV after chase, crash in Union County]

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said their aviation unit initially began following Amanda Sawyer's vehicle because Sawyer was wanted on felony warrants.

    Amanda Sawyer

    Sawyer has been arrested multiple times while she was on probation, according to arrest records.

    She is facing about two dozen charges in Mecklenburg and Union counties and will likely face more, according to Tony Underwood, spokesperson for the Union County Highway Patrol.

    Union County had been investigating an unsolved fraud case before the chase. After arresting Sawyer, deputies connected her to fraud at a Union County Walmart.

    On Thursday, detectives charged Sawyer with more charges including, possession of stolen goods and simple possession of marijuana. 

    Those charges are in addition to the 21 she is facing after the police chase.

    “Our detectives, being able to see her up close, there were certain markings on her person that matched a suspect from a Walmart fraud just a few weeks ago,” Underwood said after the chase.

    The North Carolina Highway Patrol said a trooper saw the vehicle was speeding and attempted a traffic stop. Troopers said Sawyer took off and at times drove faster than 100 mph for about 20 miles.

    Chopper 9 Skyzoom saw the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic in southeast Charlotte first, and then into Union County.

    Sawyer eventually crashed after driving recklessly for 20 miles on U.S. 74 at Dickerson Boulevard, near the Monroe Crossing Mall.

    Several other vehicles were involved in the crash, but nobody was seriously hurt.

    Two days later, authorities said they seized several unopened boxes from the vehicle.

    Those items were Dewalt power tools and a Milwaukee M18 fuel combo kit worth $5,000 stolen from The Home Depot stores in High Point and Burlington, detectives said. 

    A corporate investigator with The Home Depot said Sawyer stole $100,000 from the home improvement stores over the past year.

    “If you've done something, just fess up to what you've done,” witness Leann Tyson said. “Don’t put other people in danger for it.”

    Chopper 9 Skyzoom saw investigators swarm the car and pull Sawyer out onto the ground, where they took her into custody. At least two children were inside the vehicle, and were not properly restrained, troopers said.

    Sawyer has served time for drug possession, a hit-and-run, assault with a deadly weapon, and assaulting a police officer.

    Her most recent conviction was in 2016.

    (Mug shots of Amanda Sawyer from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office over the past three years)

    The judge could have sent her to jail for up to 40 months but gave her two years of probation instead.

    She was also arrested during that time.

     

     

    Channel 9 asked CMPD why Sawyer wasn't taken into custody after any of those arrests during her probation, but the department referred us to the district attorney's office.

    Channel 9 attempted to contact the DA's office as well, but hasn't heard back.

    Sawyer was booked Tuesday night into the Union County Jail.

    The investigation is ongoing.

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