RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Richland County deputies have arrested three men they say broke into a home in Lower Richland County.
23-year-old Darren Archie, 19-year-old Demetri Sumter and 22-year-old Antonio Elleby have all been charged with 2nd degree burglary, attempted petit larceny and possession of stolen vehicle.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department says the three men broke into a home near Alexander Pointe Drive and Sparta Court Thursday morning after they tried to ring the doorbell and no one answered. Mack said the homeowner was home during the break in and startled the suspects, causing them to leave the home.
"I heard the front door being broken down first. Then the alarm went off," says the victim, who wished to remain anonymous for her own safety. "It was a very traumatic experience, and I don't want it to ever happen again," she said, "I was in bed asleep. I heard a loud sound."
"I heard some commotion in my living room, and that's when I realized there was a burglary in progress," she continued.
In a panic, she frantically got up looking for her cell phone, but it was dead. So, she locked herself in a bathroom and says she did the only thing she could think of. "Started making a lot of noise. (I was) screaming," she said, "Then the suspects left."
She says an alert neighbor saw the whole thing unfold. "He noticed a white car pull up, and they sat outside for a while," she explained, "Then he said they pulled into the driveway, checked my garage. It was locked. (They) put on gloves and came up to the house."
Once that neighbor saw the same men take off, he called 911. Deputies nearby heard the call and saw the men leaving the neighborhood. When they responded, they saw the suspects' vehicle, a stolen white Crown Victoria, and immediately started following them.
According to Mack, the suspects ditched the Crown Victoria on Shop Road and ran from deputies. Deputies set up a perimeter in the area of Shop Road and Pineview Road and eventually arrested all three suspects.
Nobody was hurt in the incident, but the woman believes she knows why the men were there. "It seems like they were trying to take the television, my Wii, and DVD player," she claims.
Nothing was actually taken, but there is a damaged door, and despite that, "I'm thankful for good neighbors," she says. Deputies say if the neighbor had no been so alert, the three men may not have been caught so quickly.
It's the second home invasion in the Midlands in two days