Sheriff's Office: Valley neighborhoods dealing with serial car burglar

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012

GLOVERVILLE, S.C. -- Robert and Linda Rutland's neighborhood crime watch is on high alert.

"We try to watch out for each other, but it's kind of hard sometimes," said Robert Rutland.

Sometime Monday night, burglars broke in to their granddaughter's truck outside their home on McDonald Street in Gloverville, and they stole a variety of things: a radio, CDs, sunglasses, a small pocket knife and an iPod Nano.

"It took her a long time to save up when she was going to school to get the truck, and then it took a long time to save the money up to get the radio," Linda said.

Overall, about $310 of stuff, but the next day, they found out something more surprising. Many of their neighbors had been hit, too.

"Since Sunday night to today, we've had 22 burglaries of items out of vehicles," said Cpt. Troy Elwell with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Elwell says all 22 were around Gloverville and Warrenville. Three were on Wayland Street, two were on Boatright Road and another was on Project Road. A CD player and sunglasses were stolen on Pine Street in Gloverville, another was hit on Carolina Street and others were on Gravely Road, Oak Street, Murphy Street, Alley Street, Johson Road, Turnbull Street, Boatright Road and two more on County Glen Avenue in Graniteville, too.

"We reallocated some manpower. We're looking at changing up some individuals that normally work daytime to work night shift to try to apprehend these individuals. We believe it's one or two people that are in the area or may not even live in the area," Elwell said.

As for the Rutlands, they're remaining vigilant, and they're telling their neighbors to report anything out of the ordinary.

Elwell says a lot of the cars broken into were not locked. He says people there in the Valley, and throughout the county, should lock their doors and take valuables out each night. Parking your car under a light can also help.

If you have any information about these break-ins, call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-922-3211.


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