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Woman tries to flee police and crashes into greenhouse

todayMay 9, 2024 3

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – -It was a chaotic scene outside a Lewis Drug Store in Sioux Falls this week after a woman crashed her car into the greenhouse area causing a lot of damage.

But as you’re about to find out, she wasn’t there to buy flowers and the car wasn’t even hers.

“Oh my God, what the hell,” employee Mark Demaray said.

Demaray was working that day and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“Bunch of pallets and all the pots broken up on the ground, all broken up into a million pieces,” Demaray said.

Authorities say 40-year-old Leslie Epling had devised a scheme; buying and selling used cars on Facebook Marketplace.

Police took a report on Monday out of Brandon.

“It’s reported that she allegedly wrote a check for that vehicle and that was given to the victim, keys along with the title were traded with that check,” Captain Josh Phillips with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office said.

Only that check never cleared.

“The victim in this case went to cash that check and the check came back closed it was a closed account, it was a business check and that business had been closed for two years,” Phillips said.

So authorities decided to set up a sting on Facebook to try and catch Epling by selling her a car on Marketplace.

They agreed to meet at Lewis in the parking lot.

But when they got there they used their vehicles to pin Epling in.

“Epling did not comply with the officers and Epling tried to drive through the tent area through the trees and pottery,” Phillips said.

The pottery planters just yet, but they estimate the damage between three and five thousand dollars.

Epling is now facing a long list of charges, including intentional damage to property, grand theft, and aggravated eluding.

As far as the Lewis employees are concerned, they’re glad it’s over.

“Somebody could have been hurt, because it’s an indoor garden center and if somebody was shopping back there it could have been a lot worse, but thank God it wasn’t, ” Demaray said.

Police say three other people, who were in the car, were arrested on unrelated charges.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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