Men accused of stealing backhoe for ride on soccer field - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Men accused of stealing backhoe for ride on soccer field

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Dylan Bridger Bennett (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Dylan Bridger Bennett (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
Matthew C. Downs (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Matthew C. Downs (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
IRMO, SC (WIS) -

Two Columbia men were arrested over the weekend after deputies say they stole construction equipment and dug holes on an athletic field in Irmo.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts arrested Dylan Bridger Bennett, 20, and Matthew C. Downs, 27. They are charged with grand larceny, malicious injury to personal property and criminal conspiracy. Additionally, Bennett is charged with public disorderly conduct.

Both men posted bail and were released from the Lexington County Detention Center Monday.

Arrest warrants say Bennett and Downs entered a fenced maintenance area at Seven Oaks Park on Leisure Lane near Irmo at about 1 a.m. Sunday and stole a golf cart. The warrants say they then entered a fenced construction area and hotwired a combination front-end loader and backhoe and drove it through the fence.

The warrants say Bennett and Downs used the machinery to dig holes and scrape grass turf on a soccer field, causing as much as $10,000 damage. The backhoe was parked in the soccer goal with a metal bicycle rack entangled in the undercarriage.

Deputies were called to the park a short time later and found the golf cart and backhoe abandoned. They staked out the area and found Bennett exiting a wooded area nearby. He was arrested.  Deputies determined Bennett appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

Downs was arrested at the park.

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