Items Stolen from Vehicle at Dollar General in Trenton
A customer who went into the Dollar General in Trenton, Monday, July 28, returned to her vehicle to find several items had been stolen from it while she shopped. According to a report filed with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, the customer left the driver’s side door to her vehicle unlocked, and a thief entered the car through this door and removed a pink purse containing a cell phone, a Kindle Fire tablet, and a portable wi-fi device. The purse was later located in a wooded area beside a trail that leads to the Village Apartments. An eyewitness was also located who provided a description of the suspect; a black male approximately 6’ tall weighing about 145 lbs. and wearing black shorts, a grey long sleeved hoodie type shirt, and a white or yellow hat. The witness observed the suspect walking with a pink purse on the trail away from the direction of the Dollar General. Nearby video surveillance also showed a suspect that matched the description given by the eyewitness. While the purse was recovered, all of its contents are still missing, and the suspect has yet to be identified. This matter is under investigation by the ECSO.
Items Stolen from Trailer in Field
Several items were reported stolen from an unlocked trailer located in a field across from a residence on Sleepy Creek Road in Edgefield, Tuesday, July 29. According to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report, the items stolen included a black and white television, several sheets of OSB ½, four Cracker Barrel lamps, a 94 qt. white cooler, and 8 cast iron pots/skillets and could have been stolen as far back as the end of June. The estimated worth of the items was listed as nearly $600. The ECSO is investigating this matter.
Battery Stolen from Tractor at Bettis Park
According to a report filed with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, Monday, July 28, a battery was stolen from a county owned John Deer tractor that was located at Bettis Academy Park sometime between the aforementioned date and Wednesday, July 23. The battery was estimated to be worth $300.
Vintage Coke Cooler Stolen
A vintage Coke cooler was reported stolen from a building on Weaver Road in Johnston, Thursday, July 31. According to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report, the victim had last checked the property two weeks prior to finding the cooler missing. On the date of the discovery of the theft, the victim arrived at the property and found the door to the building open. Upon entering the building, the victim observed that his items had been gone through and at that point discovered the cooler missing. In addition to the theft of the vintage cooler, copper wire from inside the building was also taken. The scene was processed for evidence, and this case has been turned over to an investigator with the ECSO.
$5,000 Worth of Shoes Stolen
An estimated $5,000 worth of shoes was reported stolen from a residence on Courtney Road in Trenton, Thursday, July 31. According to a report filed with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, the victim in this case explained that he and his girlfriend had had a verbal altercation the day prior in which law enforcement was called to the scene. At that time, the victim said he left the scene to allow the situation to calm down. However, upon returning to the home on Thursday after work, the victim stated he found a handwritten note laden with expletives from his girlfriend. The female was no longer at the residence and some of her belongings had also been removed from the scene. The man said he then discovered that 25 pairs of his shoes were missing. The shoes included such name brands as Jordans, Bo Jacksons, and Air Force, and some were described as being limited edition shoes. Attempts to contact the girlfriend in this case were unsuccessful, and the victim was unsure if he wanted to press charges at the time of this incident’s reporting. However, evidence was collected from the scene, and the ECSO will follow up on this matter.
Two Stolen Vehicles Recovered After Attempted Theft Foiled
While on routine patrol during the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 29, a deputy with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Officer noticed a black truck backing into a yard on Columbia Road in Edgefield with its lights out. Noting this behavior appeared suspicious, the deputy turned around and returned to the location whereupon he saw the truck backed up to a trailer located in the yard of the residence. When the driver of the vehicle noticed the deputy, the driver fled the scene and began traveling on Hwy 23 toward Johnston at a high rate of speed. The ECSO deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, initiating blue lights and siren, but the driver ignored all signs to stop. In addition to the high rate of speed, the truck was also being driven with no lights on, and, in what is believed to have been an attempted to cause the deputy to wreck, the driver began to drive recklessly between both lanes of the highway in an apparent attempt to make items in the bed of the truck fall out into the roadway. This maneuver was somewhat successful in that a backpack leaf blower did fall into the roadway, but the deputy continued pursuit.
When the driver of the vehicle reached Strom Thurmond High, he exited the right side of the roadway and drove behind a house located in front of the school. He continued through a field and then ended up crashing the truck into a pond located behind the home. The driver then exited the vehicle and entered the pond in an attempt to continue to elude law enforcement.
The ECSO established a perimeter around the area and continued their search for the suspect. The SC Department of Natural Resources was called out to the scene. They provided a boat to search the pond. A SC Law Enforcement Division helicopter was also called to aid in the search for the suspect. These searches proved futile.
However, not giving up, ECSO personnel was patrolling the area several hours later when an unknown male and female were seen running from the incident location. The pair headed into a nearby peach field and again a perimeter was established, this time including the ECSO bloodhound tracking team. During this search, the duo was also spotted by a passing motorist crossing Hwy 23 and entering a wooded area near Fairway Drive. Again, the SLED helicopter was used to help in the search, and this time, the two were captured.
Steven Ashley Dubose, 32, of Lexington, SC, and Jennifer Lynn Lostritto, 30, of West Columbia, were both arrested in connection with this incident. They were both transported to the Edgefield County Detention Center without incident.
The capture of this pair not only foiled a theft but also resulted in the recovery of several stolen items and solved at least three more cases of theft. As is turns out, the truck that the pair used in the attempted theft of the trailer on Columbia Road and which was subsequently crashed in the pond off Hwy 23 was reported stolen months ago in Lexington County. In the bed of that truck were found items that would later be discovered missing and reported stolen Tuesday morning, July 29, from a residence on Stonehenge Cirlce in Edgefield. Those items included the blower that fell from the truck during its flee from law enforcement as well as a lawn mower, an air compressor, prescription medication, and even rolls of toilet tissue. Also stolen from this residence was a 2006 Chevy truck that was later recovered from a wooded area on Slade Road.
Related also to this incident was yet another theft reported from a home on Stonehenge Circle. In this matter, a home owner reported to the ECSO Tuesday morning that 7 motion sensor lights that were mounted on landscaping post on his property had been stolen sometime during the preceding night. Those lights were also found in the bed of the stolen truck that was recovered from the pond.
As might be imagined, both parties in this incident are facing multiple charges. Both Dubose and Lostritto are being charged at this time with Burglary 1st, grand larceny, larceny, and possession of stolen property. Dubose is also being charged with driving under suspension and failure to stop for blue lights/siren. Both were denied bond and are being held at the LEC.
Along with the recovery of the stolen property, several items of evidence were collected. The stolen vehicle that was crashed into the pond was towed from the scene, and the owner has been notified of its recovery.