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Three sought in county home invasion Saturday

KCSO investigating possible tie to November case

Posted: February 15, 2011 3:40 p.m.
Updated: February 16, 2011 5:00 a.m.

There was a knock at the door just before midnight at the small home on Jefferson Davis Highway in east Camden. The 45-year-old man living there arrived home about 20 minutes earlier and was talking on the couch with his 62-year-old aunt from Ridgeway.

The man got up and opened the door. A male suspect wearing black clothing and a black ski mask struck him across the head with an unknown object. The man fell to the floor, where he lay unconscious for the next 30 minutes. The woman jumped up to grab a phone. She was hit in the back of the head with a black or gray handgun by one of two other male assailants who had followed the first suspect inside.

The man’s 73-year-old mother then came out from a bedroom only to be struck in the face with a handgun. Two of the suspects grabbed the women and tied them up with stereo cords.

The suspects ransacked the house, destroying the victims’ telephone and stealing an undisclosed amount of money, at least one piece of jewelry and a .38 caliber handgun. They ran out the back door when they were done.

The women waited about 10 minutes before getting themselves loose. The man woke up shortly thereafter and his aunt left to get help. Making her way to downtown Camden and the intersection of Broad and DeKalb streets, she was able to flag down Sgt. James Hemming of the Camden Police Department. Hemming escorted her back to the home on Jefferson Davis Highway where they were met by Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies.

That is the story recounted in a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) report -- a story nearly identical to one told to deputies last November by people living next door to Saturday night’s’ victims.

“This is a disturbing crime and we need the public’s help,” said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. “These men knew people were home and they were bold enough to bust in with guns. They will likely do this again.”

Matthews said KCSO bloodhounds were called to the scene, but were unable to pick up the suspects’ trail.

He also said investigators will be looking into whether or not Saturday’s case is connected to one that took place around the same time of night Nov. 27. Matthews said they were doing so primarily due to the fact that they took place at neighboring homes and some of the facts appear to be similar.

In November, a 51-year-old woman said someone knocked on her rear door, claiming to be police. When she opened the door, she was punched in the stomach and knocked to the floor by a masked man. She said she began calling out for a 66-year-old man living with her and tried to crawl into the bedroom but was kicked about the head and body and pushed into a gas heater. She was knocked unconscious with a large laceration to her forehead.

Two other suspects, also masked, then ran into the bedroom where the man was sitting on a bed, pointing a rifle at his temple and a pistol at his face. They demanded money and took $45 from him. They demanded a gun, but when he said he didn’t have one, the men left out the back door. The man said he heard a vehicle leave the back yard.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the woman was still on the floor face down in a puddle of blood. She was transported to the hospital. Both victims said the men were wearing ninja type masks.

The one difference between the cases is that the victims in November said they believed their assailants were Hispanic. The first attacker in November’s attack was listed, according to authorities, as possibly Hispanic, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. The second suspect was said to be 5 feet 5 inches tall, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Aside from having black hair and brown eyes, no description was given of the third suspect.

In Saturday’s case, authorities aid the attackers were only described as African-American with no other details.

Anyone with information about either case is asked to call Lt. Chris Phillips at 425-1512.

(This story has been corrected to more factually indicate where the involved homes are located.)

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