Rhonda Gail Medina, 40 and Santana Malia Bedwell, 31

Car chase ends in arrests

Two Florence women were arrested Tuesday after leading Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase across the county and into Mississippi in a vehicle they allegedly stole.

According to Sheriff Shannon Oliver, the vehicle was reported stolen from Vina Tuesday morning.

“Deputies found it and made a traffic stop, and after they stopped, the vehicle took off and started to run again,” Oliver said.

The driver and passenger, Santana Malia Bedwell, 31, and Rhonda Gail Medina, 40, took off ran up and down Highway 24 between Russellville and Red Bay before the chase ended across the state line in Mississippi. Spike strips laid by Red Bay Police Department were unsuccessful in stopping the alleged car thiefs, Oliver said, but once the pair hit the median, responding officers were able to block them in, and Mississippi Highway Patrol aided in bringing them into custody.

Alabama State Troopers and Russellville Police Department also coordinated with the FCSO.

“It’s usual having a vehicle theft,” said Oliver, who said the chase accelerated to 80-90 mile per hour speeds on the highway. “That’s something we don’t see a lot of, and where they stole it from was a rural area.”

Medina and Bedwell were each charged with theft of property first degree, attempt to elude, unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, criminal littering and theft of property fourth degree. Medina was also charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, and Bedwell was also charged with criminal mischief first degree. “She rammed into one of our vehicles,” Oliver said.

Both are in the Franklin County Jail on $5K bonds, according to Oliver.

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