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Sheriff’s vehicle theft tied to suspects in wave of car crimes

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:28 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -Two suspects with connections to more than 30 auto burglary cases in Columbia County are now wanted on suspicion of stealing a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office car Wednesday morning.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has identified 18-year-old Aaron Edmonds and 17-year-old Jacobi Jones as armed and dangerous suspects.

The two have reportedly worked with others responsible for stealing eight vehicles and entering 38 cars in Columbia County in the past few months.

Authorities say the group is known to arrive to a location in one vehicle with four or more occupants. They search for vehicles to steal and then leave together. They have been seen arriving in multiple vehicles at various gas stations during early morning hours.

Authorities now say these suspects stole an unmarked Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Chevrolet Impala at a gas station at Deans Bridge Road and Meadowbrook Drive on Wednesday morning.

From left: Aaron Edmonds and Jacobi Jones
From left: Aaron Edmonds and Jacobi Jones(WRDW)

There were no weapons or other equipment in the vehicle at the time of the theft.

The thieves were seen exiting a dark newer-model Lexus ES 350 with South Carolina license plate UPA 715 and entering the Impala, deputies said. The Lexus had been reported stolen.

Authorities released this image of the theft of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office unmarked...
Authorities released this image of the theft of a Richmond County Sheriff's Office unmarked vehicle.(WRDW)

Both vehicles then left the scene and were last seen traveling north on Deans Bridge Road.

At 6:48 p.m., the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen Chevrolet Impala in Columbia, S.C. Investigation into the incident continues.

Authorities report associates of these suspect have confirmed they will use violence against law enforcement or any other person attempting to prevent their escape.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirms these suspects are connect to a wave of people entering unlocked cars in residential neighborhoods and stealing items ranging from money to wallets to even a couple of guns.

The most recent notable ones in Columbia County happened over the weekend in the Crawford Creek neighborhood. Authorities released surveillance photos of the men.

These men are being sought in connection with thefts from vehicles in the Crawford Creek...
These men are being sought in connection with thefts from vehicles in the Crawford Creek neighborhood of Columbia County.(WRDW)

Before that, the thieves struck the Canterbury Farms neighborhood near Grovetown around 3 a.m. Thursday, taking money, wallets and a gun.

Similar items were taken Sept. 5 in a spree in Evans neighborhoods off Hardy McManus Road, including Stratford. Cash, credit cards, phones, wallets and a gun were among the items taken from the vehicles, according to victims. Other vehicles were ransacked without anything being taken.

After that spree, we spoke to a couple whose car was stolen.

They never thought something like this would happen.

“We thought this was just a great area for kids and safety,” said Nicole Carrillo.

“I mean ... a cul-de-sac. Nobody comes in a cul-de-sac,” said John Carrillo.

The Carillos say they watched their neighbor’s security video of the group of four just walking up and down the street, taking their time checking each car. And the hardest part for them to watch was the suspects driving away in their bright red Escalade.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Nicole Carrillo said.

Deputies say each of the cars were unlocked and although it may seem like common sense to lock your cars, this is normally how thefts like these take place.

“We have preached and preached about securing vehicles and not leaving valuables and keys inside,” Maj. Steve Morris said.

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