5 teens charged for multiple vehicle break-ins in city of Sumter


Unlocked vehicles at three apartment complexes in the city of Sumter were the target of recent break-ins that resulted in five arrests earlier this week, according to city authorities.

Police said the five men entered multiple vehicles Monday night at Willow Run, Archdale and Dillon Trace apartment complexes and took various items that were left inside, said Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for Sumter Police Department.

The arrests were made that night after residents noticed and reported suspicious activity to police, she said.

Officers arrested Tijah Clarkson, 19, of Love Street; William Commander, 17, of Ben Street; Ciontae Owens, 18, of Curtiswood Drive; Damien Shannon, 18, of Enter Street; and Trequel Washington, 17, of East Charlotte Avenue.

McGirt said all are charged with 13 counts of breaking and entering auto and criminal conspiracy.

Washington is additionally charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and Owens with possession of crack cocaine.

All were booked at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center where bond was denied for Clarkson, Owens and Shannon.

Commander and Washington have been released on surety bonds with electronic monitoring.

Sumter Police Department continues to urge residents to remove their personal belongings from their vehicles, particularly firearms and other valuables before walking away from the vehicle, McGirt said.

Also, she said, stay alert and report strange vehicles, persons or activity in your neighborhoods. "Lock it before you leave it."