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Taco Bell employees lead to arrest of NC duo in Indian Land car break-in spree

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A North Carolina duo have been arrested for a string of car break-ins in Indian Land with the help of alert Taco Bell employees, who led police to the accused thieves.

One of the suspects had a stolen gun in his possession when both were arrested Sunday at the Taco Bell restaurant on Charlotte Highway after a manhunt by Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Tiyon Jamar Lucas, 20; and Malek Ja’Quay Lyons-Roberts, 18, both of Winston-Salem, N.C. were charged in the crime spree, said Barry Faile, Lancaster County sheriff. Both Lucas and Lyons-Roberts are charged with five counts of breaking into cars, according to police and court records.

“We got there quickly and found the two actively going through cars,” Faile said. “Although we were not immediately able to find them, they ultimately had nowhere to go and no way to get there. We also thank the employees of Taco Bell who reported these men to us so they could be taken into custody.”

Deputies were called around 4 a.m. to the Rosemont neighborhood in Indian Land after a resident on Clover Hill Drive spotted two men trying to break into cars, Faile said.

A deputy found the men on Crandon Road, where one of the men was crossing the street and the other was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car rummaging through its contents. Both men had their faces partially covered, Faile said. Both fled on foot.

A search by several deputies led to a 2004 Cadillac backed into a dead-end street. The car sped off as deputies approached, almost hitting the officer, Faile said.

The Cadillac crashed through a fence on Rosemont Drive. Officers, including a K-9, searched for about three miles but did not find the suspects.

Later Sunday morning, the manager at the nearby Taco Bell called police about two men with dirty clothes loitering in the restaurant. Deputies responded and arrested both Lucas and Lyons-Roberts, Faile said.

Lucas had a loaded .38-caliber revolver, which had been reported stolen in High Point, N.C., said Doug Barfield, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Lucas also was charged with driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident from the smashed fence, illegal weapon possession, and possession of a stolen gun.

Deputies found that the pair had taken wallets, purses credit cards and other items, Barfield said.

Both men remain jailed at the Lancaster County Detention Center. Lucas has a bond of $18,000, and Lyons-Roberts’ bond was set at $10,000.

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