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Sometimes, crime makes you laugh
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About this time last year, I started a new tradition: looking back at the year in crime -- but from a funny point of view.

All right, so not all crime is funny. But there are incident reports from the Camden Police Department (CPD) and Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) that, at least, make me raise an eyebrow or two.

I figure that’s why it’s the most popular part of our newspaper and website. I hope you enjoy reminiscing here as much as I enjoyed tracking down these reports from the past 12 months.

Stop running, boy. So, you’re 17 years old and are caught messing around with a 21-year-old woman in the back seat of a car. What do you do? Hit an officer’s patrol car with yours? Try to run the car up an embankment? Try to flee only to fall down the embankment yourself? How about all of the above.

Don’t wear a skeleton on your shirt. Seeing a man in front of the Camden Post Office wearing a sweatshirt with a skeleton on it might make you call police, too. Good thing: He was wanted on an outstanding family court bench warrant.

At least she was honest. What an arrested Bethune woman said after being found with 5.3 grams of marijuana in her purse: “I just bought that bag of dope and was going to go smoke me one.”

Cheap date? A 27-year-old Camden woman told undercover narcotics agents she wanted to go “party” with them. That’s “party” spelled s-e-x. How much did she want to do a particular deed? Just $20.

Then don’t pick up strange women -- or couples. A Bethune man picked two women up at a bar only to have them allegedly steal some checks, camcorder, camera, jewelry, money and pills. Also, Camden man said he invited a Cassatt couple back to his place for drinks and a movie. While he was arguing with his wife (maybe he shouldn’t have brought them home?) they stole his handgun, liquor and yard trimmers.

Eeek, a naked man! A man was arrested after reportedly interrupting a girls' softball game by running naked through the area. He was found nearby wearing pants but no shirt. Witnesses, however, confirmed he was the one who ran by in his birthday suit.

Don’t pass that deputy. A 42-year-old man was arrested after he crossed a double yellow line in order to pass two vehicles -- and a deputy -- on a blind curve.

A punching bag? Really? A 30-pound punching/kick bag was stolen from a Mitchell Drive residence -- twice. Why is beyond me. Luckily, it was found the second time, too.

 No, son, that’s not funny. A 15-year-old Camden Fire Department Explorer deliberately put his foot behind the tire of a CPD officer’s patrol car -- and got run over. When asked why he did it, he reportedly said “because I thought it would be funny.” He was sent home for the day.

High, up on a roof. That was the actual headline for the story of a 20-year-old Camden man who got charged with methamphetamine distribution after he tried to break into a Bradley Road residence through the roof. In fact, that’s where he was found: on the roof, high from the drugs he was carrying.

Just tell the truth, folks. A husband and wife appeared in court July 12, testifying about the time a month earlier when deputies were called to their Elgin home. Then, they had claimed each had attacked the other during an argument. In court, their stories changed and they were arrested for filing false police reports.

Why? Two women were accused of stealing a box of glass door knobs and some collectible Barbie dolls from an east Camden antique store.

How? Someone cut up and removed a 20- to 30-ton rock crane from a Stoneboro Road hunting property near Kershaw.

Finding religion. An Elgin man said he found a 2-foot-tall statue of Jesus on his front step after someone rang his doorbell at an unholy (OK, that’s my word) 2:30 in the morning. No one was there when he looked outside.

People steal the darndest things. Here’s just a sample of items I’ve seen listed stolen in reports that almost defy the imagination: packs of ribeye steaks, chicken and cube steaks from a deep freezer; a 6-chair patio set with glass table top, metal green and beige porch swing, two lawn chairs and several tiki torches; two bathroom toilets; and 37 bags of horse feed.

Rikki, don’t call that number. A Lugoff woman said a man drove up to her house, got out, took a picture of her home and then gave her a note saying “Urgent! Please contact us immediately!” The number on the paper was for a porn service.

Are you stupid? Sorry, I don’t usually use that word, but this one kind of forced my hand: Three men were almost run over by a bulldozer when they were seen stealing copper from an Elgin landfill. I mean, come on! Didn’t they see the dozer? At least hear it?

Buh-bye! As it did last year, the one that caught my attention the most came at the end of the year: A Lugoff man came home to find $20,000 worth of his stuff gone -- furniture, curtains, washer, dryer and more -- and a note from his wife saying he hadn’t been robbed. She had taken the items and left.

I learned later the guy was arrested -- and fired from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department -- for unlawful use of the telephone after he allegedly harassed his estranged wife by phone. Maybe there was a good reason for her taking the stuff and leaving?

I’m just saying.