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KCSO arrests two after alleged INVISTA thefts

Posted: February 23, 2014 1:05 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrested two Elgin men Wednesday after they allegedly stole $5,000 worth of aluminum pipes from the INVISTA plant in Lugoff.

A KCSO press release identified the men as Christopher Brian Strange, 25, of Sweet Air Lane, Elgin; and Arthur Randal Gonzalez, 36, of NE Miles Road, Elgin.

According to the KCSO, an employee at the Lugoff plant saw something that looked out of place. In the statement, Sheriff Jim Matthews said INVISTA’s fire marshal saw two men -- later identified as Strange and Gonzalez -- in a truck on plant property shortly after noon on Wednesday. The men apparently gained entrance by driving a truck down a set of railroad tracks and then crossing onto INVISTA property. A considerable number of aluminum pipes that had been stored at INVISTA were later found in the back of the truck.

The fire marshal detained Gonzalez, but Strange fled on foot. The marshal called Kershaw County 911 dispatchers and told them of the situation. KCSO deputies immediately responded and took Gonzalez into custody. Other deputies patrolled a nearby neighborhood where residents said a man ran inside a Bradley Street home off of Lachicotte Road.

Strange came outside with his hands up and surrendered to deputies as they attempted to obtain a search warrant for the residence. Deputies charged him and Gonzalez with grand larceny of less than $10,000 but more than $2,000, and with unlawful entry into closed places.

According to the KCSO, Gonzalez has no previous criminal record. They said Strange, however, has previous arrests for second degree burglary, violation of ABC laws, two offenses for simple possession of marijuana, purchasing alcohol for a minor and unlawful use of a telephone.

A magistrate set total bond for both men at $8,470 each. Kershaw County Detention Center officials released the men after they posted bond.

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