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Crime Report - Feb. 4, 2015

KCSO deals with more chases

Posted: February 3, 2015 4:05 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2015 1:00 a.m.
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Stephen Earl Wood Jr.

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Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies dealt with two more car chases in recent days.

Deputies arrested a Lugoff man Friday after he led them on a chase on country roads and through a field. A deputy reported seeing Justin Matthew Littlejohn, 24, of Quail Lane, Lugoff on Sessions Road with only one headlight around 7 p.m. Friday. The deputy attempted a traffic stop, but Littlejohn sped away.

According to a KCSO press release, Littlejohn led the deputy on “a lengthy chase” before stopping the car just before it would have run over spike strips placed on the road. Littlejohn reportedly admitted he had been drinking “all night.” Charges included a second offense for failing to stop for blue lights, no vehicle license, no proof of insurance and open container. Deputies issued him a warning for the inoperable headlight which started the whole episode. 

Deputies transported Littlejohn to the Kershaw County Detention Center (KCDC) where he was released on bonds totaling $25,580. According to the KCSO press release, Littlejohn has previous arrests for malicious injury to property, grand larceny, second-degree burglary, DUI, receiving stolen goods, shoplifting, DUS, criminal domestic violence, petty larceny, simple possession of marijuana and criminal conspiracy.

“Having his license suspended certainly has not deterred Mr. Littlejohn from driving, driving while drunk, leading law enforcement on a vehicle chase and more. He is a habitual offender who threatens other motorists with his driving and lack of concern for others,” Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said. “What’s next? Does he have to kill someone before he is taken off the road? Leniency for this man has not worked.”

Monday night, deputies arrested a Camden man after a high speed chase which ended when the suspect’s vehicle wrecked. Another man escaped, having fled on foot before the road chase began.

According to another KCSO press release, a patrol deputy saw a car stopped for an unusually long time at Watts Hill Road and Wildwood Lane. The deputy activated his blue lights and then approached on foot to see if there was a problem. The deputy’s patrol car dash cam caught Dustin Lee Blair, 26, of Elgin, go to the back of the car and close the trunk, return to a passenger door and drop something out of view.

Blair fled on foot into woods across Wildwood Lane as the driver -- Stephen Earl Wood Jr., 26, of Thorton Drive, Camden -- sped off toward U.S. 1 in the car. The deputy pursued Wood, who reportedly ran the stop sign at Watts Hill Road and U.S. 1, lost control of the car and wrecked. Wood reportedly tried to exit the car, but was taken into custody, uninjured. Deputies took Wood to the KCDC, charging him with failure to stop for blue lights and driving without a license.

According to the press release, Wood has previous arrests in North Carolina for breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious injury, felonious restraint, first-degree arson and first-degree kidnapping.

“This turned into a very dangerous pursuit. Although the deputy slowed down and checked for traffic at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Watts Hill Road before crossing, Wood did not and ran the stop sign at a high rate of speed. Fortunately no one was coming when Wood crossed U.S. 1 and fortunately he wrecked before he killed or injured an innocent motorist,” Matthews said. “There needs to be a strong deterrent for motorists who choose to lead officers on a chase. Right now there doesn’t seem to be.”

Blair was still at large, according to the report.

The KCSO also reported 16 thefts, five arrests for driving under the influence, four cases of malicious injury to property, three reports each for assault, public disorderly conduct, burglary, vandalism and possession of marijuana, two incidents each of credit crad fraud, shoplifting, driving without as license and possession of cocaine and one report each for failure to stop for blue lights, trespassing, giving false information to police and driving under suspension.

*****

Camden Police Department (CPD) officers arrested a 38-year-old Camden man Saturday on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol violations.

According to a CPD report, an officer did a traffic stop and a passenger immediately got out of the car and ran. The driver admitted he and the passengers had been drinking at a downtown Camden bar. The report said an open beer bottle was in plain view inside the car. The officer reported smelling marijuana in the car and a subsequent search turned up two baggies of suspected marijuana that weighed a combined 41.2 grams, a scale and an open vodka bottle. The driver said the open alcohol containers were his and he was arrested, according to the report.

CPD officers also responded to a burglary at a Camden credit union branch Monday morning. The report said a manager called police after finding the building had been broken into over the weekend. Pry marks were found on the frame of a rear door, the report said, but nothing was taken. The investigation was turned over to CPD detectives.

The CPD also reported one case of criminal domestic violence, one assault, the theft of a purse from a dentist’s office waiting room and one for trespassing.

Incident reports are provided by the Camden Police Departments and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and are a matter of public record under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. If the C-I makes a mistake, it will correct it upon verification with the appropriate law enforcement agency. Readers are cautioned that other individuals may have similar or identical names as those contained in incident reports. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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