Shoplifting leads to high speed chase through Brunswick County

Tags: , , , , ,

Submitted: Tue, 09/09/2014 - 3:37pm
Updated: Tue, 09/09/2014 - 11:26pm

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Two South Carolina residents wanted for shoplifting led police on a high-speed chase through Brunswick County Monday afternoon.

Southport Police say they got a call around 2:35 p.m. about two people shoplifting from customers at Walmart. When they arrived, police tried to confront Antonio Michael Rago and Elizabeth Ashley Ventiquattro, but the two got into their SUV. That’s when police say the suspects tried to run over one officer and ram the car of another. Officers were able to get out of the way, but the suspects took off.

Officers chased the two through Boiling Spring Lakes and into Bolivia eventually ending up on Old Ocean Highway. Police say the two crashed into two parked cars at a service station. They found hypodermic needles on both suspects.

Rago and Ventiquattro were taken to the hospital, treated and released.

They are charged with larceny from a person, possession of drug paraphernalia, attempting to flee and elude from a law enforcement officer, two counts assault with a deadly weapon and financial debit card fraud.

Police say Ventiquattro is also charged with identity theft and false pretense. They say she used a woman’s card to purchase a car.

Police say there could be more charges filed soon. They believe these suspects were also responsible for stealing a purse from a woman Saturday.


  • Daniel Seamans says:

    …I’m looking at the press release from the SPD.
    Her full name is Elizabeth Ashley Ventiquattro.
    They only name her and the male.
    I hope that helps.

  • Mechanic says:

    The name of the female was listed differently in the Star News report. Were there 2 female suspects?

  • 1234543 says:

    for God’s sake people, where do we get these people that are trusted to be law enforcement around here, why in the world would 2 people accused of shoplifting warrant a high speed chase that could possibly endanger the public or possibly kill a family????????????????? Who is calling these shots, NC has some very serious issues facing them and it is not good for the innocent taxpayers around here.

  • Robert T Willis says:

    No…it wasn’t just about shoplifting…. This man and woman had strong armed a woman a week prior in Walmart….Walmart spotted them in the store again yesterday and called the police….upon police arrival…suspects assaulted an officer and hit a police car with their car…(so now you have assault on an officer and felony assault on an officer with a weapon…(vehicle)! They did the assaulting during their escape which shows flagrant disregard for human life on their part. To those of you to ask about the radios, if they were working… Yes they were working and if you had been listening you would see that several times officers attempted to set spike strips up in front of the fleeing vehicle but the suspects kept changing direction before officers could get in position. Now I don’t know if they finally got strips out or if they used the “pit” or if they just wrecked at the gas station but however…. they are stopped!! Besides the felony charges that I have mentioned there also felony drug charges that they charged him/her with after getting them stopped.

  • Guesttoo says:

    What an idiotic response to this story! If these people had not run, there would be no need to chase them, right? They chose to run and put their lives, the lives of the public and the lives of the police officers in danger.

    Blaming the cops and not the criminals just makes no sense to me.

  • Calvin says:

    Wow people, how about chasing them because they tried to run over a police officer! Lucky for him he was able to go home to his family. Some people around here are so shallow minded.

  • Guest2020 says:

    You are absolutely right. Anyone who would run over a police officer would not hesitate to run over an innocent bystander. They showed themselves to be dangerous when they tried to hurt the officers. The police was right in doing what they could to get them off of the street and everyone around them out of danger.

  • guesty says:

    “Southport Police say they got a call around 2:35 p.m. about two people shoplifting from customers at Walmart”

    Since the customers are private citizens the correct charge would be larceny, not shoplifting. Just like it states lower in the story.

  • MIke Williams says:

    The name was used by the female suspect first. Then her real name was discovered. Thats why the two different names at first. More charges???

  • Timekeeper says:

    If I was Ms. Brooker, I would see what my options were.

  • Daniel Seamans says:

    …and if there’s ever a question regarding possible errors/confusion in any way/shape/form, feel free to email me at I’ll look into it and confirm :)

  • Mechanic says:

    Thanks, Daniel. The story I read online (Star News Online) listed the female passenger as Katie Nichole Brooker of Southport. The man’s name was the same. Maybe some kind of error on their part.

  • Leroy says:

    Hi speed chase for shoplifting, How many people do the police need to put in danger for a Walmart shoplifter? I’m sure the damage to the parked cars is way more than the value of what they took from Walmart.

Leave a Reply