At the Camden Fire Department’s (CFD) request, a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy responded to an area behind Bill’s Country Kitchen near the Plantation Motel on Jefferson Davis Highway in east Camden on April 1.
CFD Asst. Chief Eddie Gardner told deputies firefighters responded to an area that had been partially burned up and found several checks, as well as a book that appeared to have immigration paperwork and birth certificates inside. In looking over the items, the deputy determined they belonged to the nearby hotel and that they included the last name of its manager.
The deputy went to the motel and spoke with the manager who said he was just looking into a possible burglary. He said someone had gone through the office and confirmed the items recovered by the CFD came from the motel. The manager also said the unknown burglars got into a laundry room where they stole a cooler and microwave. Also listed as missing in the report was a bag of keys to all the rooms at the motel.
In addition, the CFD reported that the fire burned an approximately 1-acre area behind Bill’s Country Kitchen, directly off a frequently-traveled walking trail.
The KCSO also reported the following recent incidents:
Deputies arrested a 24-year-old Elgin man following a vehicle chase on the evening of March 24. According to a KCSO report, a deputy stationed on Wildwood Lane in the Elgin area confirmed a white Ford truck was traveling at 66 mph in a 40 mph zone, activated his blue lights and went after the truck. After seeing the truck turn right onto Bowen Street and increase speed. The deputy activated his siren and then saw the trucks lights turn off. The chase continued across Cherokee Boulevard and then on to Robin Hood Road in Richland County. The deputy notified Richland County of the pursuit, during which the truck stopped briefly at Robin Hood and Kelly Mill roads to allow a passenger to run from the truck. The truck then continued, traveling over a ditch from Kelly Mill Road and into a driveway on Robin Hood Road. The 24-year-old, who had been driving, then fled on foot. The deputy managed to catch up to the man at a fence on Robin Hood Road and held him at gunpoint until Richland County deputies arrived to assist. After being arrested, the man complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital. After the suspect received treatment, the deputy transported him to the Kershaw County Detention Center and charged him with driving under suspension (second offense), speeding, failure to stop for blue lights and being an habitual traffic offender.
Someone stole 14 guns from a Sun Valley Drive residence while the owner was at church on March 31. The stolen guns include a mix of hand- and long guns worth about $6,000. They had been kept in a gun safe that had been bolted to the front of an enclosed trailer. When the victim came home from church, he found the trailer open and the lock missing. A small safe from a back bedroom was also missing. The next day, the same victim reported that someone took his 2015 Dodge pickup truck. He said he actually saw the suspects through his kitchen window leaving with the trucks and heading toward Goff Road. A key to the truck had been kept in the safe. Shortly afterward, deputies received word from dispatchers that someone had called about a suspicious vehicle abandoned on Ridgeview Road. A deputy arrived on the scene and confirmed it was the victim’s truck and found that whoever had stolen it had wiped down the inner and outer door handles. The victim arrived a short time later to retrieve the truck, but informed deputies that the truck’s toolbox was missing with an 1894 Marlin .44 caliber rifle worth $1,750 inside.
Deputies arrested a 35-year-old east Camden woman on March 31 in connection with an assault that allegedly took place on March 25 involving a 56-year-old man. Deputies met with the man at a Lewis Street location, and noted they had been called to Law Street earlier that same evening for a dispute, but no one answered the door. The man claimed that when deputies came that time, the woman had held a box cutter to his neck, telling him she would cut him if he said anything. Deputies observed an injury to his right hand, which the man said he received when he hit the woman in the head to stop her from cutting him. EMS transported the man to the hospital while deputies returned to Law Street. No one answered the door. With the possibility that the female suspect might have been injured, too, they forced the door open, but found no one inside. Although the circumstances behind her arrest were not listed in the report, online court and jail records show deputies charged her with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.
Deputies recovered a red Hyundai Velost registered to a Camden man on the night of March 29 following a short high-speed chase. According to a KCSO report, a deputy was patrolling Sessions Road near Elgin when he noticed the vehicle traveling at what he thought was a high speed. They confirmed by radar that it was traveling 72 mph in a 45 mph speed zone close to Chestnut Road and reported that it appeared to accelerate after the deputy gave chase. It turned left on Veterans Row, and by the time the deputy caught up, it had stopped in the front yard of a residence. Two white male subjects fled from the vehicle into a nearby wooded area. The deputy could smell marijuana when he arrived at the vehicle, but could not find any inside. He did find court papers for an Elgin woman. He reported the car suffered a “good amount of damage” to the front and back bumper as it left the roadway and into and out of a ditch before resting in the yard.
Deputies arrested a 48-year-old east Camden man for third-degree assault and battery following a fight at his residence on Thompson Street. Deputies arrived just before 8:30 a.m. April 1 in response to a call of a man beating a woman. When they arrived, deputies heard the complainant yelling “He’s over there; that’s him!” while pointing to the edge of a nearby wood line. One of the deputies looked in that direction, saw a man who looked at him and then took off running toward McRae Road. With the assistance of another deputy, they were able to apprehend the subject. The woman told deputies she had asked the suspect to take her home and that led to the altercation. She said the man struck her several times in the head and mouth with his fist, and one of the deputies reported seeing bruising and swelling on the left side of her head. Several witnesses corroborated her story, leading to the man’s arrest.
A 63-year-old Lugoff man said that, according to his neighbor, his son-in-law had come on his Hunt Road property after being told multiple times not to do so. When the man came to check out the property, he found what he described as two graves, one for a small person or child and the other for an adult. The man took the responding deputy to the area and the deputy did report finding two holes, describing one as about 3 feet long and a few feet deep. She described the oither as being “much longer” and about 3 feet deep. Dirt had been piled next to both. The man said he was worried that the graves were for his daughter and granddaughter because his daughter stands to inherit a substantial amount of money when her mother passes away.
An east Camden woman reported her blue 2012 Chevy Cruze as stolen on March 24. While responding to the call, a deputy learned that a car matching that description had been chased and recovered by the S.C. Highway Patrol the previous night. The woman said she had left her phone charging in the vehicle while it was running and that an unknown person drove off with it. The victim denied that she had lent out the vehicle to anyone, but the deputy reported that her demeanor changed dramatically and she started to cry. She was told to contact troopers about the vehicle.
Sometime between 6 p.m. March 24 and 7:30 p.m. March 25, someone stole a white GMC Yukon parked at a Summitt Ridge Drive, Camden, location. The victim admitted to leaving the keys in the unlocked vehicle. A short time later, the responding deputy learned that the vehicle had been in some type of accident, ending up rolled over in a ditch at the intersection of Bailey Street and Lovett Road. Whoever had been driving it abandoned the vehicle, but the responding deputy noted that the victim did not have any injuries consistent with being in such an accident.
Someone broke into an Elmwood Boulevard South, Elgin residence, possibly by busting out the front window, sometime before 9:45 p.m. March 26. In surveying the property, the responding deputy noted that the broken window was double-paned with grills between the pane and screen, and that the screen frame had been bent on all four sides. It appeared that the burglar stole two video game consoles and two wireless controllers while leaving all other electronics behind.
Sometime between 3 p.m. March 29 and 2 p.m. March 30, someone apparently backed up some type of truck to a shed at a Fox Squirrel Road residence, pried open the doors and stole two welders (one gas, one not), two 100-gallon gas bottles, two plasma cutters, a 14-horsepower welder/generator with electric starter, and a black air hose. The responding deputy found a pair of brown women’s sunglasses next to some tire imprints in the grass.
Someone stole a black 12-foot trailer belonging to a Columbia woman from her parents’ property on Browns Lane in Lugoff location between March 23 and 26. She said she and her parents noticed on March 23 that the roll-up door to the building in which the trailer was kept was partially open, but the trailer was still there. They closed the door, but when they returned March 26, the trailer was gone.
A Department of Social Services (DSS) reported a possible case of child abuse concerning a 3-week-old boy who was admitted to a Columbia children’s hospital with a skull fracture, small amount of internal head bleeding and a hematoma on his left scalp. DSS said hospital staff reported that the injuries were not consistent with the way the boy’s mother described events. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed.
A Horry County deputy who stopped at the I-20 westbound rest area on April 1 reported finding a pistol in the restroom. He told a Kershaw County deputy that he had walked into one of the stalls and found a .32 caliber revolver laying on the ground. The Kershaw County deputy retrieved the firearm, removed four .32 caliber rounds from it and took it to KCSO headquarters for safekeeping.
The plant manager at Connor Industries on Lachicotte Road reported on March 27 that two employees -- one of whom was supposed to be off that day -- were caught on surveillance footage stealing an entire pallet of plywood worth around $1,500 by placing it onto a utility trailer that was pulled from the scene by a black truck.
An investigator with an out-of-state police department contacted the KCSO about a now 12-year-old girl who said that for three years, while she was between the ages of 8 and 10, a male family member, who was 14 at the time, raped her while she was staying in Kershaw County.
Sometime on or before March 30, someone stole a green all-terrain vehicle from an Ochre Lane, Lugoff residence.
County deputies also dealt with recent cases involving breach of trust, civil disturbance, domestic problem, DUI (including one with a .19 blood alcohol content level of a suspect who already had a DUI conviction from 2013), driving under suspension, financial transaction fraud, harassment, improper tag, larceny, malicious injury to property, meth possession, no proof of insurance, possible break-in to an apartment, special house check, speeding, suspicious person, uninsured vehicle, and vandalism.
(KCSO reports are provided under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. Subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty.)