KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A homeless man who had previously been convicted of homicide has been arrested for stealing copper from air conditioning units in Kershaw County.
Kershaw County Sheriff James Matthews says 47-year-old Shawn Michael Bowers was arrested Tuesday.
Bowers is accused of stealing copper from the air conditioning units of a Lugoff business in December. The business owner reported the air conditioning units were destroyed.
Sheriff's investigators reviewed surveillance video and tips from the community who suggested where the copper may have been sold. Investigators got receipts from an area scrap yard for the sale of the copper, documenting Bowers sold some of the components removed from the air conditioners.
Investigators received tips Bowers was living in his truck with his dog near the Lake Wateree dam. After several attempts to locate him, Bowers was arrested.
Matthews says Bowers admitted to stealing the copper.
Matthews says Bowers has previous arrests including homicide, petty larceny, assault, DWI, trespassing, burglary, possession of drugs and firing a weapon into a dwelling. The Sheriff says most of the arrests occurred in Florida.
"We received considerable assistance from the community on this investigation which we greatly appreciate," Matthews said. "Bowers' drug problem made him pretty much unemployable so he resorted to preying on Kershaw County residents in order to survive. This is a pretty sad story all around, but there are other ways to survive besides stealing. The United Way, Food for the Soul and the Community Medical Clinic are set up to assist the homeless and gladly do so."
Bowers was taken to the Kershaw County Detention Center. His dog was taken to an animal shelter in Camden.