BLYTHEWOOD, SC (WIS) - With several break-ins being reported in the northeast areas of Richland County, deputies have made several efforts to let the community know they need to lock their doors and look out for their neighbors.
In the Plantation Park neighborhood of Blythewood, neighbors put those tips to practice, and helped deputies catch a thief.
Around 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, Jason Curry went outside to turn off his Christmas when he noticed someone lurking around the neighborhood.
“I just noticed a young guy, walking by,” he said. “Black sweatsuit, hoodie on, backpack…and in this neighborhood, that’s kind of strange.”
Curry felt that something wasn’t right, so he decided to take a second look outside.
“He walked down the sidewalk, and pulled on my neighbors car,” Curry said. “That’s when I confronted him, and he ran off. I jumped in my car to try to find him, went around the corner to the stop sign, and there were some more of my neighbors.”
Curry said the other neighbors were gathering after a woman visiting family said her wallet had just been stolen out of her car.
“She was in there for maybe 15 minutes, and the guy had come over and pulled on her doorknob and went through her purse and stole her wallet,” said Joshua Wilson, who lives on the street where the woman’s car was parked.
While the neighbors were outside calling the police, the man in the hoodie was spotted walking around the corner after ditching his backpack with stolen goods inside. It turns out the young man and his family lived on the same street that had been burglarized.
“You wouldn’t think that somebody in your own neighborhood would do that,” Wilson said.
There’s some sort of security camera or system on most of the homes out in Plantation Park, which made it that much easier for police to arrest Parker Grant. The 17-year-old was charged with Larceny/Breaking Into a Motor Vehicle. He was given an $800 PR bond and could face up to five years in prison or a $1,000 fine if convicted.
“This is not the right neighborhood to try to pull that with,” Wilson said.
Representatives from the sheriff’s department applauded residents in the neighborhood for looking out for each other and are encouraging other subdivisions in the area to do the same.
“Knowing your neighbors was one of the factors that helped catch him doing what he did,” Curry said.
In addition to looking out for and reporting suspicious activity, the sheriff’s department has advised residents to lock their vehicle doors, hide belongings from view, and invest in some sort of security or alarm system.