2 Detention Center Employees Injured
Two employees of the Edgefield County Detention Center were injured last week in an incident involving an inmate according to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report. The report details that body camera footage as well as surveillance video shows how, on July 13, after being escorted back to his cell by 2 detention officers, the inmate physically pushed the heavy metal door to the his cell back open striking one of the officers. The videos also show the inmate coming back into a hallway in what is described as “a very aggressive manner” and the detention officers physically attempting to place the inmate back in his cell. The inmate was ultimately returned to his cell. A subsequent report stated that the inmate had no signs of injuries and did not complain of receiving any injuries. However, the officer struck by the cell door did seek medical attention for the injuries sustained in this incident. According to the ECSO, additional charges are pending against the inmate involved in this matter.
Another Church Victim of Catalytic Converter Theft
ECSO Working with New Law to Combat Catalytic Convert Thefts
Mt. Cannon Baptist Church became the latest church in the county to fall victim to thieves stealing catalytic converters according to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report. The ECSO report notes that on July 11, 2021, a member of the church started the congregation’s van and heard a loud noise coming from under the vehicle. Investigating the source of the sound, he found that the van’s catalytic converter was gone.
This is just one of many such thefts reported throughout the county by area churches and businesses in recent months. Just last week, the Advertiser reported on the theft of 9 catalytic converters from a business in the county. The ECSO has been working with area law enforcement agencies, whose jurisdictions are also facing such thefts, to investigate and stop these crimes. Sheriff Jody Rowland, who spoke to the Advertiser regarding these crimes, said of them, “It’s very frustrating.” He noted that catalytic converters take only a few seconds to steal and that these thefts are usually carried out in the middle of the night, making capture of the culprits hard. However, Sheriff Rowland assured, “We’re following every lead we can,” and stated that his agency is working to keep communication open with surrounding law enforcement in regards to these thefts.
A new law which went into effect May 18 of this year is aimed at stopping these crimes and making prosecution of them easier. Under this new law, it is illegal to possess or transport a catalytic converter without proper documentation showing how the catalytic converter was detached from the vehicle. It is also illegal to buy or sell a catalytic converter without proper documentation.
According to law enforcement, catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because they are sold for the precious metals – palladium, platinum, and rhodium – found inside them. Sheriff Rowland told the Advertiser, Monday, July 19, that the ECSO is working with the new law and is about to make the agency’s first arrest under it. The Advertiser will have more information on that pending arrest as it becomes available.
ATVs, Trailer, Equipment Stolen
Some Items Recovered
The Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office recently responded to 2 separate calls of stolen ATVs and other equipment. According to an ECSO report, the first call was received July 7, 2021, from a residence on the 200 block of Courtney Road in Trenton. The reported details how the victim heard the sound of an ATV outside his home around 3 in the morning but thought it was just someone riding near his residence. However, he was notified by a neighbor in the morning that 2 of his ATVs were parked along the roadside near the neighbor’s home. Going to his shed, the victim in fact found 3 of his ATVs missing. He went to the location mentioned by his neighbor and retrieved 2 of the missing ATVS. However, the third was not found. It is described as a light blue 2016 Polaris 450 4×4 valued at $3,500.
The second incident was reported to the ECSO on July 11, 2021, from a residence on Salters Pond Road in Trenton. According to this report, sometime during the night a 12’ wood frame trailer containing two 4 wheelers (a gray 2019 Yamaha and a blue Yamaha), a basketball goal, a dolly, an orange air compressor, and a Murray push mower was stolen from the victim’s yard. Later that day, the ECSO responded to a call of an abandoned trailer on Tanglewood Drive in Trenton. The trailer matched the description given in the aforementioned theft and had on it some of the items known to have been on the stolen trailer. The victim was called to the scene and did identify and claim the trailer. While the trailer and some of the stolen items were recovered, the 2 ATVs, the push mower, and the air compressor were not. Those items have been listed on NCIC.
The ECSO is investigating these crimes.
Items Stolen From Area Counties Recovered
Items reported stolen from 2 neighboring counties were found and recovered in Edgefield County, July 12, 2021. According to an Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office report, an abandoned gray Chevrolet truck was found in a ditch on Odell Adams Road in Edgefield. A check of the vehicle’s license plate revealed the truck had been reported stolen out of Greenwood, SC. The Greenwood Police Department was notified of the discovery, and the truck was towed from the scene.
The second discovery was made at a residence on MealingRoad in the North Augusta section of Edgefield County. According to the ECSO, the agency was called to the location to meet with law enforcement with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a trailer that was stolen out of Columbia County being sold to a person living at the residence. That resident was able to provide law enforcement with the name of the person from whom he purchased the trailer and stated that he paid $1,200 for it on July 7. The trailer at the site was determined to be the one stolen from Columbia County. The owner of the trailer came to the scene and took possession of it. The CCSO is continuing to investigate this crime.