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Auto break-in suspects draw multi-agency investigation in Sumter

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:06 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - Two men are in jail and officers say they are working to identify a third man after a string of auto break-ins in Sumter County.

According to officials with the Sumter Police Department, the break-ins occurred Sunday night through early Monday morning at two subdivisions in the western part of Sumter.

Officials say law enforcement agencies from throughout the Midlands are assisting and investigating possible ties to auto break-ins and other crimes, both violent and non-violent.

Police say handguns were among the items reported stolen and officers are asking residents of The Retreat and the Palisades at Carter’s Mill Apartments to review any video surveillance they may have from that night and morning.

Officers say at least 13 vehicles were broken into and ten of those vehicles had their windows broken out. Three vehicles were left unlocked.

Police say they located two suspects in the parking lot of one of the complexes and placed them in custody.

According to police, Tyrell Shepard, 25, of Columbia, is charged with criminal conspiracy, unlawful carrying of a pistol, simple possession of marijuana, giving false information to police and 13 counts of breaking and entering auto. He also faces charges by the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Police say Virgel Pauling, 27, of Winnsboro is charged with criminal conspiracy, identity fraud and 13 counts of breaking and entering auto.

Both are being held at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

Officers say a third man with Pauling and Shepard was able to leave the area and steal a vehicle from a neighborhood off of Stamey Livestock Road before leading authorities on a high-speed chase Monday afternoon into Richland County and evading officers.

The vehicle was recovered.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at1-888-CRIME-SC. A cash reward may be available for information leading to an arrest.

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