Edgefield County vandalism escalates to burglary

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, December 12, 2007

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Within two weeks, there have been four burglaries in the Meriwether area of Edgefield County.

Joe and Wanna Usry have lived in the Meriwether area for seven years.

"It's normally quiet around here. We don't have any trouble or anything," said Joe.

Except one time--when something was stolen out of their yard explains his wife.

"About a year ago I used to have a scarecrow in my front yard that I'd put out every fall and someone stole it last year," said Wanna.

But this year, the Meriwether area is seeing more serious crime with vandalism earlier this week and now--burglaries.

Despite security signs, thieves stole a TV, PlayStation and computer from a home on Sweetwater Road.

A couple blocks down the same street, someone forced open a side door to get inside another home.

About a mile away, burglars tried disarming an alarm system by stealing the power meter then prying the back door open.

And one more burglary on Martintown road, this time the thieves came in through the back and front doors stealing jewelry and other valuables.

Officers say the crimes come with the holiday season.

"Statistically, this time of year crime goes up, burglaries go up, armed robberies go up so this is really not anything new," says Corporal Robbie Harter.

But for now, the Usrys are keeping "no trespassing" signs posted...And hoping the families of the burglaries get their stuff back--just like their scarecrow.

"They did return it. It was broken up...but they did return it," said Wanna.

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