COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Imagine going home and finding not one, but three burglars inside. That's what happened to one college student Thursday, and it wasn't the first time his house has been broken into.
"I heard people in my house, didn't really know what to do," said one of the victims. "The door had been knocked in."
The USC student, who didn't want to be identified, surprised three burglars in his house off Forest Drive around noon Thursday. "I saw them jump the fence, started to run after but decided to call the cops instead for safety reasons," he said.
A good idea, since the burglars had stolen several guns from the house and may have been armed. Police caught what they thought were two of the 16-year-old suspects a half-mile away. They indicated they later found out one of the two detained suspects provided false information about his age. He is identified as 17-year-old Sheldon Jerome Turner. Officers said Turner will now be charged as an adult for burglary. The other detained suspect is being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center's juvenile section. A third suspect is still on the loose.
As the cops chase the third suspect, the victims are left picking up the pieces. "All our electronics, all our guns and stuff are just gone," said another victim. "Our house was ransacked, everything was destroyed and now we're just figuring out what in the world we're gonna do next."
Unfortunately, that's not a new feeling for the students. "We got broken into a month before on Christmas Eve day," said the first victim.
Why so many? The victims believe it's because their house is right next to busy forest drive. "You got plenty of different people coming by, seeing it's a nice neighborhood, and that's probably provoking them into wanting to rob some of these houses," said the first victim.
The victims hope the arrests will put an end to the burglaries. But it's still small comfort to students who say their peace of mind has been shattered.