Lott: Crime may be up in county, but 'small majority' behind increase

Lott: Crime may be up in county, but 'small majority' behind increase
Jimmy Osborne (L) and George Adams (R) (Source: Richland County)
Jimmy Osborne (L) and George Adams (R) (Source: Richland County)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just one day after the FBI released the 2015 Uniform Crime Report, which showed an increase in violent and property crimes in Richland County, Sheriff Leon Lott held a news conference to discuss the report and two cases that he said highlighted the reason behind the increase.

"Two separate cases we're going to talk about today illustrate how those numbers get driven up and how we'll have an individual or a couple of individuals go on what we call a crime spree and they just really don't get stopped until we catch them," Lott said.

Lott described the first case as a crime spree involving break-ins at liquor stores beginning in December 2015.

According to the sheriff, deputies arrested Cedric Reddick in connection with 26 break-ins alone in the county. Reddick is also accused of at least 10 more in other Midlands cities and counties.

Reddick was meticulous in his efforts to not leave behind forensic evidence at the crime scenes, Lott said, because of However, a May 3 break-in at a Garners Ferry Road liquor store finally helped deputies to find DNA that allegedly linked Reddick to the crimes.

Deputies are still seeking an accomplice in that case.

Meanwhile, Lott went on to discuss another burglary case involving two suspects who were breaking into homes in the Irmo, Chapin, and Ballentine communities.

Those two men, identified as Jimmy Osborne and George Adams, have been hit with various charges in connection with those burglaries.

Lott credited a community Facebook page -- Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine SC Crime Watch and it's 5,000+ followers -- to helping the sheriff's department identify and ultimately capture the two men.

The sheriff described all three men as "career criminals with lengthy records," and tied them to the recent FBI crime report's findings.

"We're doing a great job with the community, and the community is doing a great job with us," Lott said. "That's how we can be successful. But, once again, we have a small number of people committing a majority of our crimes. That's got to stop."

If you have any information about these crimes, you are urged to contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways: Call 1-888-CRIME SC (888-274-6372), Text TIPSC plus your tip info to CRIMES (274637), visit www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and email a tip. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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