New details in pottery theft from Edgefield County library

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:26 PM EST
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EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re learning more about how suspects got away with almost 40 pieces of pottery.

They were stolen from the Tompkins Library in Edgefield. We spoke with the library’s director about why the artwork is so important to the community.

It’s been more than six months since 39 historic pots were stolen from the shelves.

Now, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone who has answers.

Metta Watkins works at the Tompkins Library. She knows all too well how important these pieces of pottery are to the Edgefield community.

The pottery pieces were stolen between June 4-6 of 2022.

Managers at the library tell us not only did they steal the pottery but the computer that held security camera footage.

“It makes me disappointed just hearing that something like this has happened and it makes me think that maybe someone wanted to make a profit from stealing some of these pots,” he said.

Many of the pieces were created by enslaved African American, David Drake in the 1800s. Pottery like this can go for at least $5,000 and it’s what puts Edgefield on the map.

“It just gives us another name and a lot of people come from different states all over the country just to look at our pottery... hoping to get a piece of Edgefield pottery,” said Watkins.

She says when people come in to see the pottery from Dave the Potter, she has to show them the empty shelves.

If you have a tip on who might have done this, you can call 888-crime-sc (888-274-6372).