SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Sumter County deputies are searching for three men who tried to break into a Sumter home, but were scared off when the 57-year-old resident fired a gun at them.
A busted door frame, a bullet hole in the screen and shattered glass is left behind after deputies say three men tried to get inside Carl Prescott's Main Street home. "It's just unfortunate for the victim that these individuals would attempt a crime of this nature," said Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis.
Deputies say someone rang Prescott's doorbell a little after midnight on Tuesday. Prescott got up to see two men standing in his front yard next to a green 2003 Ford Taurus.
Prescott reported he then heard someone beating on his back door. As he was going into the kitchen to see who it was, another man kicked in the back door.
Investigators say Prescott then fired one shot at the man with his .32 caliber pistol. The crook wasn't hit, but the shot was enough to scare him away. "There's no doubt in my mind, if they had entered that house and there was some resistance from the victims at that residence, someone actually could have gotten hurt," said Dennis.
After Prescott fired at them, the three men jumped into the Taurus and fled towards Sumter. City police officers chased the men to the intersection of Loring Drive and Bowman Street where the men crashed into a parked truck. The three men ran from the scene and haven't been found.
The owner of the Taurus told police that a 20-30-year-old man named Ryan Demetrius recently had the vehicle for detailing. Police have Demetrius listed as a suspect on the incident report.
According to Dennis, crimes like this spike around Christmas time. "Criminals thinking that people have valuable items in their home preparing for the holidays," said Dennis.
This is the fourth home invasion we've covered in just two weeks. Sheriff Dennis has this advice for you heading into the holidays.
"Be careful who you actually open your door to at night and during the day," he said. "Be sure you can identity who they are."
If you know anything about this incident or the identity of the three suspects, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.