Tuesday, July 30, 2013
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- The search is on for the thief involved in nine car break-ins and a burglary in North Augusta Monday night.
Officers first found a vehicle on the 400 block of Shoreline Drive with its interior light on and its passenger side door open. The homeowner told officers that his 1999 Toyota 4Runner had been broken into. Another victim who lives on River Club Lane told officers her 2007 Cadillac was broken into.
Later that night, officers were called to investigate a suspicious person who was spotted in the same neighborhood. The witness says the person appeared to be wearing gloves and was looking into cars.
Officers who were in the area later saw a man at the River Club Golf Course. When he was approached, officers say he dropped the bookbag he was carrying and ran from them, heading off into the swamp. Officers were able to pick up the bookbag, which had some of the items from the car break-ins.
A perimeter was set up and the Aiken County Bloodhound Tracking Team was called to the scene. The team briefly ran a trail before the man's scent was lost.
While the search was going on, a Public Safety dispatcher got an anonymous phone call, which was later determined to be from the man using a victim's cellphone, telling them he got away.
Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, a resident of the 200 block of East Shoreline Drive called to say her cellphone and her grandmother's car were stolen. She said she woke up, noticed her phone was missing and started looking for it when she found her grandmother's purse was thrown onto the kitchen counter and the refrigerator door was open. Her grandmother's 2002 Buick LeSabre was also missing from the garage.
Officers say the thief may have run into the open garage while hiding from law enforcement, which is when he noticed the door to the home was unlocked and went inside. Officials say the man did not make contact with anyone inside the home.
If you have any information about the break-ins, including the identity of the man involved, call North Augusta Public Safety at (803) 279-2121 or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).