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Thieves Steal From County
Edgefield County became the victim of thieves sometime over the weekend of Apr. 27 when a county-owned rotary tiller was stolen from the park at Bettis Academy. According to County Recreational Director Nick Wates, the tiller is usually stored at the county shop, but as it was being used to work on the ball fields at the park, it was left stored under a lean-to on the premises. Other equipment, such as tractors, are routinely left stored at the facility, and Mr. Wates said this was the first theft of equipment at the site.
The tiller is described as being red in color and is valued at $2000. The Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the ECSO at 637-5337.
Update to Church Burglary/Vandalism
As previously reported by The Advertiser, Red Oak Grove Baptist Church was burglarized and vandalized last week. The Advertiser has since learned the extent of the damage to the church, as well as the value of the items taken, is believed to be near $10,000. A report filed by the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office details the damage done to the church by the vandals.
In their effort to reach televisions that were secured 14-15 feet on the walls, the criminals not only used step ladders, but also unbolted a pew to move about the sanctuary. Additionally, they removed the cover to a baby grand piano and stood atop it to reach one of the televisions. The detached pew was left strewn against a desk, and the Christian and American flags, customarily displayed in the sanctuary, were found thrown on the floor. The report goes on to tell how chairs were toppled over, a sofa was upturned, a freezer was left open, and the cabinets in the kitchen had been rummaged through and left open, and their contents were found thrown about the floor. The preacher’s office had also been ransacked with cabinets left open and items scattered on the floor. In addition to throwing a brick through a window, the thieves also attempted to break ceiling tiles inside the church in an effort to gain attic access.
The full list of items taken from the scene is still being compiled, and the ECSO is actively following leads and processing evidence found at the scene in effort to catch these culprits. As one witness to the aftermath of the crime to the holy structure was quoted as saying, “Someone is going to hell.”
ECSO Intercepts Drug Shipment via Postal Delivery Service
According to a report filed by the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, the ECSO executed a search warrant at a Cheves Creek Road, North Augusta (Edgefield County) residence after learning that a package to be delivered to that address contained suspected drugs. The report details how the ECSO was contacted by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Unit after they received intel that a package at an unnamed postal delivery service may contain drugs. The two agencies met at the postal company, and after walking the ACSO narcotics canine around several packages, the dog alerted to a package labeled for delivery at the aforementioned address. After securing a search warrant for the package, the parcel was opened and found to contain several plastic bags of a green, plant like substance believed to be marijuana and a sealed plastic bag of a brownish substance believed to be hashish, another form of marijuana.
At this point, the SC Law Enforcement Division was engaged in the investigation, and a controlled delivery of the package was arranged. The parcel was delivered to the address on Saturday, Apr. 20. A short time after the package’s delivery, a search warrant was executed on the residence.
The subsequent search of the home resulted in the findings of a quantity of green leafy plant like substance, a quantity of a white powder substance, and a white rock type substance. An additional box similar to the one used to ship the suspected drugs was also found on the premises. In addition, a pill bottle containing what is believed to be a schedule II narcotic was also located.
The homeowner, 53 year old male, admitted that the delivered package belonged to him. He has been charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana 1st offense and Possession with Intent to Distribute Hashish 1st offense.
The suspected drugs have been turned over for testing. The investigation into this crime is continuing, and according to the ECSO report, additional charges my be forthcoming.
String of Auto Break-ins Over the Weekend And a Stolen Vehicle
A string of auto break-ins, all similar in nature and having occurred in close proximity of one another, was reported over the weekend of Apr. 28. According to reports filed with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, a total of 5 vehicles were reported to have been broken into between Apr. 28 and Apr. 29. Additionally, a report of a stolen vehicle was also made within the same area. It was believed to have been stolen sometime during the night between Apr. 28 and Apr. 29, as well. The break-ins occurred at addresses on Birch Drive, Live Oak Court, and Magnolia Court.
In each of the break-ins, the vehicles were described as having been ransacked with many of the consoles left open. In one case, there was no evidence of anything missing, only that someone had gone through the vehicle’s contents. In another instance, the only items reported missing were bottles of soda which were subsequently found in a ditch near the residence. A purse, phone, camouflage mask, gloves, and a small amount of money were some of the items reported to have been stolen from the other vehicles. Several of the vehicles had been left unlocked.
As for the stolen vehicle, it is described as a 1990 black single cab Dodge 1500 with a black toolbox and bike rack on the back. It was reported stolen from a residence on Stevens Creek Drive. Evidence was collected from this scene and is being processed.