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Crime Report - Aug. 16, 2018

Man charged with stealing vehicle from truck route site

Posted: August 16, 2018 4:39 p.m.
Updated: August 17, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Camden Police Department (CPD)

Camden police officers arrested and charged Charles Russell Donahue Jr., 25, of Pine Grove Road, Lugoff, with grand larceny, more than $10,000, after he allegedly stole a work truck from Chestnut Ferry Road Extension near Camden High School where construction is ongoing on the city’s enforceable truck route. The theft took place around 10:20 a.m. Aug. 9.

According to a CPD incident report, officers were initially unsuccessful in locating the truck, but went back to the construction site to speak to the truck’s operator. He said he had just started working and had his work truck sitting off to the side of the road where he normally parks, but did leave the keys inside. He said shortly afterward, he turned around and saw the truck being driven off by a man. The operator and other employees followed the truck onto West DeKalb Street and down toward Springdale Plaza, but lost sight of it when it crossed the Wateree River into Lugoff.

Thinking that someone released from the Kershaw County Detention Center that day might be involved, officers obtained mugshots of two detainees released that morning. Employees recognized one of the men as the suspect, and it turned out to be Donahue.

The report indicates the truck, valued at $30,000, was recovered around 4:30 p.m. that day. Jail records show officers arrested Donahue someone on or just before Aug. 13. He continues to be held on $5,000 bond.

The CPD also reported the following other recent incidents:

Camden police officers arrested Seth Emmanuel Garbowski, 19, of Lexington, on drug charges during the early morning hours of July 29 after an officer spotted a suspicious red 4-door Saturn in the parking lot of the Mobil gas station on Sumter Highway (U.S. 521). A clerk stated the car had been parked there for about 15 to 20 minutes and no one had gotten out. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer spotted the driver -- later identified as Garbowski -- looking down in his lap area. The officer reported that when they reached the driver’s door, they could see what appeared to be marijuana in plain sight on Garbowski’s lap. It appeared, they said, that Garbowski was attempting to roll a marijuana joint … and that he was oblivious to the officer’s presence. The officer got Garbowski to notice them, and he admitted what he had was marijuana and that he was heading back home to Lexington after spending time with a female friend from Bethune. At that point, the officer placed Garbowski in handcuffs and detained him. Once other officers arrived on the scene, the reporting officer searched the vehicle. Inside the trunk, they found two book bags. In the first bag, they found a large zip bag containing seven smaller ones, all containing what appeared to be marijuana. The second bag contained almost identical contents, except there were eight smaller bags with marijuana. In the second bag, they also found a digital scale, another baggie of marijuana and 14 empty baggies. The total weight of marijuana was 459 grams, or just a little more than 1 pound. The officer then transported Garbowski to the county jail where he was later served warrants for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Camden officers are investigating a claim that a 33-year-old Pamplico man assaulted a 16-year-old Camden boy Aug. 8. According to the teen, the 33-year-old claims to be the teen’s sister’s biological father. The teen said he and the man have been having issues for a few months, culminating in the Aug. 8 incident. The man allegedly got out of his truck and used a metal walking cane to strike the boy in the head and across his left forearm, breaking the cane in the process. They then reportedly began fist fighting and the man allegedly bit the boy near his right collar bone. At this point, a female -- purportedly another daughter of the suspect -- got out of the truck and allegedly began assaulting the boy, giving the man the opportunity to retrieve a wooden walking cane. The man allegedly struck the teen again, then retreated to his vehicle, which he then allegedly used to try to run over the teen. The teen said he avoided being struck by diving into a ditch. The man allegedly put the truck in reverse and tried to strike him again, but the teen got out of the way. Officers collected pieces of what they believe is the broken metal cane. They also listed in the report that the teenager suffered a severe laceration and an apparent broken bone. The man could be charged with first-degree assault, but has yet to be arrested.

Officers searched for a 22-year-old Camden man in late July they may charge with resisting arrest, failing to stop for blue lights and driving under suspension. On July 27, according to a CPD report, an officer saw a white Jeep Cherokee without a tag light on West DeKalb Street. The officer initiated a traffic stop with blue lights at West DeKalb Street and Bay Lane, but the man kept driving, so the officer turned on their siren. By then, the man had driven into the Walmart parking lot and stopped in a parking space. As the officer drove up, the man exited the Jeep and walked away. The officer -- who recognized the man from previous encounters -- yelled at the subject to get back to the vehicle, but he ran. The reporting officer stayed with the Jeep while calling for additional units to track the man. Checking the vehicle, the officer found the man’s ID lying on the passenger seat and learned from dispatchers that the man had been driving under suspension. CPD units and county deputies responded and began searching for the man. As a tow truck began taking the Jeep, a woman exited Walmart and claimed the vehicle was hers. Officers and deputies could not locate the man. He is described as African-American, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

A woman’s complaint about suspects allegedly breaking into vehicles on and near Bloomsbury Circle led a Camden officer to seize what appears to be a stolen vehicle. Around 3:45 a.m. Aug 4, a woman called police saying she had seen the suspects breaking into vehicles around the neighborhood. She said her dog had chased the suspects off near her home. She said she then noticed a suspect standing next to a green Mercury SUV with Virginia license plates. All the suspects fled before an officer arrived, who received confirmation the vehicle had been stolen out of Lexington County. The officer found what appeared to be two championship football rings and an empty backpack in the SUV. According to other CPD incident reports, the suspects broke into several vehicles and stole cash, hydrocodone, wallets with ID and other cards, a GPS device, keys and other items, including from a vehicle at the Fox Run apartments. Officers were unable to locate the suspects.

Someone apparently pried open a back door to Southern Stars Academy on Mill Street on Aug. 11 and stole $680 worth of various gymnastic clothing. That same day, the owner of Camden Welding on York Street reported that someone had broken into their business and stolen about $18,000 worth of tools, including chain hoists, grinders, clamps, clips, wrenches (including pipe wrenches), a battery-powered drill and miscellaneous hand tools.

Officers charged a 32-year-old Sumter man with third-degree assault, trespassing and public disorderly conduct after he pulled a knife while trying to get into Food for the Soul. An employee, who told police the man was “clearly intoxicated,” and had been seen drinking on the property in the past, told the man he could not enter the facility.

Officers arrested a 27-year-old Bishopville man and charged him with second-degree domestic violence on Aug. 11 after he allegedly tried to choke a woman while she was holding her 1-year-old daughter.

Someone cut a chain and drilled a lock in order to steal a 5-foot by 10-foot trailer from Tractor Supply Co.

Camden officers also dealt with recent incidents involving ATM/credit card fraud, breach of trust, burglary, communicating threats, crack cocaine possession, DUI, driving under suspension, forgery, harassment, larceny, liquor law violations, methamphetamine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, public disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, second- and third-degree domestic violence, shoplifting, theft from a coin operated machine, theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories, trespassing, and vandalism.

Elgin Police Department (EPD)

An Elgin officer assisted two 18-year-old Elgin women after they reported an alleged road rage incident on the morning of July 28.

According to an EPD report, the women said they were coming back from the Sandhills area in northeast Columbia on U.S. 1 when a silver sedan came up behind them. One of the women said she was driving the speed limit of 45 mph, but the other driver kept getting extremely close to her bumper and then backing off before running up behind very closely again. She said as they came into town, in front of the library, the two women heard what sounded like a gunshot and called 911.

The women said a man was driving with a female passenger and the victims said they saw them pull into the Circle K on Main Street. They kept going while speaking with dispatchers, but had difficulty explaining to dispatchers what had happened, so they decided to meet with officers at the Food Lion shopping center. The officer found no bullet holes in their car and did not immediately see a silver sedan at the Circle K.

Later, the officer returned to the store and asked to see video footage, which showed a silver sedan pull into the parking lot around 7:30 a.m., and the victim’s blue Honda passing behind it. Afterward, the officer searched near the library for bullets or shell casings, but found none.

The EPD also reported the following other recent incidents:

On July 25, EPD Chief Harold Brown was at the Elgin Post Office and noticed a suspicious PVC pipe and tap protruding from the ground near a water meter with a garden hose attached being used by employees of Holiday Detailing to wash cars. Brown contacted the Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority (L-EWA) and two of their employees inspected the line with him and another officer. The L-EWA determined Holiday Detailing -- which opened for business on June 15 -- did not have an active account for water and that it was an illegal tap. The EPD officer spoke with the business owner by phone, who claimed his fiancée was supposed to have opened an account. The officer then advised the two employees that the water had been turned off. Holiday Detailing’s owner later called back to the EPD and claimed his fiancée took his money and never opened the account. L-EWA officials noted that the ID numbers on the water meter are the same as a prior business that closed at that location. Therefore, they alleged that Holiday Detailing has been stealing about $200 worth of water by altering, tampering or otherwise bypassing the meter. Also during July, several people have filed reports with the EPD claiming the business has either not completed or not satisfactorily completed detail work on their vehicles.

Officers reported finding some items, including a tent, in the bushes near the rear door of the Elgin library on July 27. Among the items was a pair of Bluetooth headsets with a charger plugged into an outside outlet, effectively stealing the library’s electricity. Several days later, an officer found a blanket on the ground with two pairs of shoes, a man’s wallet, three book bags (with a glass pipe inside one), two purses, and a large box of assorted chips. The officer then heard someone running, but could not locate anyone. Thirty minutes later, dispatchers asked the officer to meet with a 38-year-old Elgin woman at the Circle K who admitted she and a 37-year-old Swansea man had been behind the library. The officer ultimately arrested both the man and woman and charged them with possession of less than one gram of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

An officer arrested a 30-year-old Elgin man following a vehicle collision during which the man had run his vehicle through a chain link fence near the intersection of White Pond Road and Dogwood Avenue. An officer said when they approached the vehicle, they could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside. The officer conducted a field sobriety test and determined the man was intoxicated, charged him with DUI and no proof of insurance and transported him to the county jail. There, the man resisted being taken inside the jail and the officer reported not being able to take him to the room where breathalyzer tests are conducted. The officer also charged him with resisting arrest.

Elgin officers also dealt with recent incidents involving an animal bite, an animal left unattended in a vehicle, attempted burglary, driving under suspension, fraud, hit and run, marijuana possession, no driver’s license, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, and trespassing.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO)

Deputies arrested a 28-year-old Bethune woman Aug. 8 on a charge of unlawful conduct towards a child after she allegedly beat her daughter with a belt and shoe. According to a KCSO report, a deputy arriving at the home reported finding marks on her face and arms consistent with the allegations. She also suffered a cut on the back of her foot. The girl, whose age was redacted by the KCSO, said that happened when her foot hit a step on the home’s front porch as she ran away from her mother.

Another deputy reported finding blood on the wall and floor of a back closet where the girl said she had hidden at one point.

The woman, whom deputies said appeared highly intoxicated, claimed her daughter refused to do the dishes, took her phone away as punishment and never hit the child. However, another family member said it all started over a “Hot Pocket,” and that if they took the mother to jail, she would fake a seizure to try to avoid going.

While transporting the woman to jail, she reportedly began holding her breath over and over again and claimed she needed to go to the hospital because she was having a panic attack. Officers took her to KershawHealth where medical personnel checked her out and released her.

According to online court records, a judge set bond at $20,000, which was paid by a bonding company on Aug. 13. Those records also show pending charges of second-degree assault and battery from October 2015, and driving under suspension and DUI more than .16 blood alcohol content (third offense) from Oct. 2016 against the same woman.

The KCSO also reported the following other recent incidents:

Deputies arrested two men on drug and weapons charges following a traffic stop around 8:15 a.m. Aug. 10 in Lugoff. According to a KCSO report, a deputy on routine patrol on Tower Road saw a silver car ahead of them with heavy damage to the windshield on the driver’s side. When the deputy approached, the driver -- identified as a 32-year-old Ridgeway man -- admitted he did not have any identification. After confirming the man’s name and determining he was driving under suspension for a third time, the deputy asked for another unit to assist. The reporting deputy identified the other three people in the car, including Bryan Anthony Mitchell, 26, of Albert Street, Camden. According to the report, when the deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the car, one of the men in the back seat handed him some marijuana rolled up in a $20 bill. After the other deputy arrived, they had everyone get out of the car so it could be searched, finding a bookbag on the floorboard in front of where Mitchell had been sitting. In the bookbag, a deputy found a HiPoint 9 mm handgun with its serial number scraped off. In addition, they found some marijuana shoved into the pocket of the driver’s seat behind which Mitchell had been sitting. Deputies also found some needles, which they disposed of at KCSO headquarters. Deputies arrested Mitchell and the driver and transported them to the county jail. When they arrived, the driver surrendered a small bag of meth. Deputies charged the driver with meth possession and driving under suspension (third offense). They charged Mitchell with unlawful carrying of a weapon, possession of a handgun with the serial removed, possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon, and marijuana possession. While Mitchell has been arrested previously for various drug and weapons violations, court records do not show him pleading guilty to or been found guilty of a violent felony. In June, officials dismissed a charge against him of being a violent person in possession of a firearm or ammunition in connection with a drug-related arrest on March 16.

Deputies arrested Cameron Edward Wise, 24, of Medfield Drive, Camden, for breaking into two vehicles near his home. The break-ins allegedly occurred Aug. 8 and court records show deputies arrested Wise Aug. 10. During one of the break-ins, Wise allegedly took a GPS device. Deputies also charged Wise with second-degree assault and battery for an incident that also took place at his mother’s home on Aug. 8. Wise’s girlfriend claimed she had been awakened by deputies seeking information about the auto break-ins and then went back to sleep. She said when she got up, Wise was angry and possibly high on narcotics. She claimed that when she went to leave, he slapped and spit on her, and struck her in the head, and then tried to strangle her with a telephone cord. Deputies reported seeing numerous marks and blood coming from one of her ears. They urged her to seek medical attention. Wise is being held at the county jail on a total $17,500 bond.

(Incident reports are provided by the Camden and Elgin police departments and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office. They 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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