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Columbia man charged in multiple auto break-ins
JahMir Taylor Web
JahMir Joseph Taylor - photo by Provided by the Kershaw County Detention Center

A Columbia man is still behind bars after being arrested in mid-December for a series of automobile break-ins in the Elgin area. Jah’Mir Joseph Taylor, 23, of Lorick Circle, Columbia, faces seven charges of breaking into motor vehicles; and one count each of grand larceny between $2,000 and $10,000, and financial transaction card fraud.

According to information on the Kershaw County Detention Center’s website, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies arrested Taylor on Dec. 19. A judge set total bond at $77,000 -- $9,000 for each of the auto break-in charges and the grand larceny charge, and $5,000 for the financial transaction card fraud charge.

All four of the reports the KCSO provided in connection with Taylor’s arrest date back to the morning of Nov. 20 when a man living on Stratford Plantation Drive reported that while nothing had been taken, someone had gone through his wife’s GMC Yukon, leaving the rear hatch open. The man said his doorbell camera showed two vehicles drive by his home around 3 a.m. that day and that a few minutes later, the headlights to a vehicle can be seen shining from just outside the camera’s view. It also appeared that someone had pulled up to the home across the street about an hour earlier and dropped someone off. The suspect vehicles appeared to be small sedans, one a hatchback and the other a 4-door sedan.

The next report, also from Stratford Plantation Drive, involved two vehicles at the same residence that had been broken into. The thieves reportedly stole some recently purchased clothes from one of the vehicles; some small tools from the other.

In the third incident, a woman living on Lacebark Lane reported the theft of her 2006 Honda Accord. The woman acknowledged that she had left the key in the unlocked car. A camera system at a neighboring house showed a vehicle activated the motion camera at 2:38 a.m. that day, but the Honda still in the yard. The Honda was later caught on another camera system on Stratford Plantation Drive where the other auto break-ins took place around 4:30 a.m.

The fourth Nov. 20 report was actually filed by an Elgin Police Department officer who reported that someone had broken into his 2017 Dodge pickup and stolen a service weapon. He said the stolen firearm -- a M&P Shield .40 caliber gun -- was a back-up weapon issued to him.

While the officer reported nothing else was taken from the truck, he said he was unsure how the truck was opened to steal the gun because it was locked. He also said his brother-in-law, who lives with him, had something stolen from his locked car. The brother-in-law said he noticed that morning there were unauthorized charges on a debit card, which was among the items in his wallet that was taken from his car. He, too, said he had locked his car. The reporting officer said it appeared as though someone had shoved a piece of plastic into the door jamb as a wedge.

None of the Nov. 20 reports indicated how deputies determined Taylor was their suspect.