Two suspects have been jailed in connection to a string of Sumter auto break-ins on Sunday evening and Monday morning.
The break-ins happened in two subdivisions in the western part of the city, according to Tonyia M. McGirt, public information officer for the Sumter Police Department. Officers are working to identify a third man. Midlands law enforcement agencies are assisting and investigating possible ties to auto break-ins and both violent and non-violent crimes. Handguns were among the items reported stolen locally, according to McGirt.
Residents of The Retreat and the Palisades at Carter’s Mill Apartments are being asked to review any video surveillance they may have from Sunday night and Monday morning and to contact law enforcement if they see anything or anyone unusual.
At least 13 vehicles were broken into, according to McGirt. Three were left unlocked, and 10 had the windows broken out.
Police located two suspects in the parking lot of one of the complexes and placed them in custody.
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.
Virgel Pauling, 27, of Winnsboro, is charged with criminal conspiracy, identity fraud and 13 counts of breaking and entering auto.
Both men are being held at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
A third suspect left the area and reportedly stole a vehicle from a neighborhood off 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 asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
A cash reward may be available for information leading to an arrest. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by logging onto www.P3tips.com and clicking on the “Submit a New Tip” tab or by downloading the new P3 Tips app for Apple and Android devices.
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