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Crime Report - July 22, 2015

Dropped cell phone leads to Elgin man’s arrest

Posted: July 21, 2015 5:45 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Tony James Williams

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies arrested an Elgin man Friday and charged him with third-degree burglary and several car break-ins after learning his identity from a cellphone he apparently dropped during his alleged crime spree.

According to a KCSO press release, deputies charged Tony James Williams, 33, of Elgin with third-degree burglary and multiple auto break-ins. The KCSO responded to several calls Friday morning relative to automobiles being broken into in an unincorporated area of Elgin. Deputies checked the area of the break-ins and discovered several other vehicles had also been illegally entered. A deputy discovered the cellphone, which didn’t belong to the victim, in one of the vehicles.

Deputies used the phone to track down Williams, who said he had lost the phone the night before. A deputy told Williams someone had found it and turned it in to the sheriff’s office, and he could come and pick it up. Williams said he was on his way.

Meanwhile, a KCSO investigator had gathered other physical evidence tying Williams to the break-ins. When Williams showed up at the sheriff’s office, the investigator arrested him. More arrests are likely, according to the press release, as evidence suggests others were involved in these break-ins as well as a shed which had been burglarized. 

According to the press release, Williams was released from prison earlier this year for auto break-ins and burglary. He also has previous arrests for multiple counts of burglary, multiple counts of grand larceny, multiple counts of auto breaking, lynching, petit larceny, multiple narcotics violations, breach of peace, probation violations, multiple incidents of public disorderly conduct, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and trespassing, according to the release.

“It sure helped that Williams left us his phone to aid us in identifying our suspect. I think they make TV shows about criminals like him,” Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said. “His propensity for breaking into cars and stealing people’s property only seems to be thwarted when he is serving time. Hopefully, our criminal justice system will keep him off our streets and out of our cars for a long time when and if he is convicted.”

The KCSO reported the following other incidents during the period of July 10-20:

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is investigating the alleged theft Saturday of a 1999 Chevrolet Malibu from a Lugoff woman. According to a KCSO report, the woman said the car was stolen after she refused to let an acquaintance use it. She told deputies two men came to her Fernwood Lane home and asked to borrow the car. She refused and went to a bedroom in the home to secure her cat inside a pet crate. When she came out, the car key was gone from her key ring and the car was gone from the driveway, the report said.

A “zero-turn” lawnmower valued at nearly $6,000 was reported stolen Friday from Old Georgetown Road, Kershaw. According to a KCSO report, the victim noticed the machine missing at 9 p.m. and the last time he saw it was around 5 p.m. July 12. He said the key was not with the mower and someone also went into an unlocked shed but nothing appeared to have been taken.

The KCSO is also investigating a break-in and theft of $1,280 worth of electronics from a home on Bishopville Highway near Camden, reported Monday. According to a report, two televisions and a computer were taken sometime between Friday and Sunday after the front door of the home was broken into.

The KCSO also reported seven burglaries, six arrests for possession of marijuana, five thefts, three arrests for driving under the influence, three reports of harassment, two cases each of assault and criminal domestic violence and one report each for vandalism, shoplifting, unlawfully carrying a pistol, breach of peace and assault and battery.




The Camden Police Department (CPD) arrested a Camden woman July 8 after her employer accused her of stealing more than $10,000 from a York Street business.

According to a CPD report, Barbara Catoe Holden, 47, of Mustang Road, Camden, is accused of taking at least $10,001 from the business during the course of six years. However, the CPD said in the report the investigation continues.

Online court records show a judge released Holden on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.

The CPD reported the following other incidents during the period of July 10-20:

A male suspect managed to get away from a CPD officer on foot after a vehicle chase out of the city and into Lugoff. According to a CPD report, around 10:40 a.m. Sunday, an officer clocked a blue Ford pickup truck driving 52 mph in a 30 mph zone on Knights Hill Road near Springdale Drive. The officer initiated a traffic stop just south of Knights Hill Drive and the suspect appeared to make several attempts to pull over, but then drove off towards West DeKalb Street at a “very high rate” of speed. Another officer spotted the truck on West DeKalb, which then crossed the Wateree River bridge into Lugoff. Shortly after crossing the river, the truck crossed the median and went up an embankment near INVISTA. A white male wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans jumped out of the truck and into the woods toward the river. A thorough search by deputies, officers and the Kershaw County bloodhound team were unable to locate the man. The CPD report indicated the suspect may be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, failing to stop for police and speeding when caught.

The CPD arrested two men following a fight between one of the men and his niece at a Church Street residence. Officers determined the woman’s uncle, a 35-year-old man, was wanted by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office on outstanding drug charges. The CPD further charged the uncle with possession of Schedule II narcotics and second-degree assault. The CPD also learned the woman’s 29-year-old boyfriend was wanted by the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office for failing to pay child support. The 19-year-old woman claimed her uncle attacked her while brandishing two large knives during an argument over washing dishes and rent payment. Officers said they observed the back of her shirt had been ripped and both she and her uncle suffered cuts to their hands. Officers found the knives and various pills in the uncle’s bedroom, along with a planter with a marijuana plant in the back yard.

The manager of a West DeKalb Street convenience store reported he confronted a female employee about $150 missing from a recent bank deposit. The woman reportedly admitted to taking the money and the manager fired her. According to the CPD report, the manager gave the woman until July 17 to return the money but had not. Other possible breaches of trust the CPD is looking into include more than $3,500 missing from an East DeKalb Street retail store and a report a West DeKalb Street restaurant employee failed to charge a customer for $50 worth of food.

The CPD also reported five thefts, four shopliftings, four cases of breach of trust, three reports of harassment, three reports of domestic violence, two assaults, two open containers, two cases of possession of drug paraphernalia and one report each for possession of marijuana, trespassing, driving under the influence, driving under suspension, drinking alcohol in a public park, possession of narcotics, identity theft, vandalism, drunkenness, a counterfeit $100 bill and a prowler.

Incident reports are provided by the Camden Police Department 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. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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