RCSD: Crime down this past weekend as deputies, command staff increased patrol presence

RCSD: Crime down this past weekend as deputies, command staff increased patrol presence

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he and his deputies flooded Richland County to ensure visibility was high as residents continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

With law enforcement out in full force, Sheriff Lott said this past weekend proved to be relatively quiet. However, deputies did serve warnings to seven bars that were non-compliant with orders handed down by Gov. Henry McMaster. Those businesses were cited with warnings from deputies. Deputies also seized video poker machines from businesses this past weekend. Outside of that, there was little trouble in Richland County.

RCSD sent out deputies, school resource officers, and members of the command staff to make sure Richland County remained safe.

“We want to make sure the community is not worried about crime during this critical time when they’re worried about the coronavirus,” Sheriff Lott said.

Although there wasn’t much criminal activity this past weekend, Sheriff Lott urges residents to be vigilant in their neighborhoods.

“I still want to caution people don’t leave your cars and vehicles unlocked in your driveway or anywhere else you go,” Sheriff Lott said. “We had a few vehicles that were left unlocked and had personal items in there like a wallet and somebody just went in and opened the car door and went in. So, neighborhoods are still being targeted. The bad guys are not going to take a vacation and they’re not going to stop just because of the crisis.”

Although the City of Columbia has a curfew, Sheriff Lott said a curfew has not been set for the county jurisdiction.

“We’ve talked about it with County Council and, at this time, we don’t feel it’s appropriate to do a curfew within the county,” Sheriff Lott said.

Sheriff Lott commended Richland County citizens for their cooperation during this time.

“They were staying home. They’re staying off the streets,” Sheriff Lott said. “Really spending a lot of family time and we want to emphasize that. This is the time to take advantage of spending time with your family. Just do something together. That’s the way we can all stay safe.”

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