Monthly Archives: November 2015

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Multiple Shoplifting Charges

Leon Brian Hardee

Leon Brian Hardee

Wal-Mart Shoplifting 10-2-2015 (2)

Wal-Mart Shoplifting 10-2-2015 (1)

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man last Wednesday on multiple shoplifting warrants.

36 year old Leon Brian Hardee was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:03pm after a deputy from the Warrants Division picked up Hardee at the Clemson City Jail and transported him to Walhalla. Warrants list Hardee’s address as Clemson View Drive and Greenleaf Court.

Hardee is accused of taking television sets from the Seneca Wal-Mart on Sandifer Boulevard in five separate incidents that occurred on September 27th, September 30th, October 2nd, October 3rd and October 5th. The total combined amount of televisions taken by Hardee during the shoplifting spree was eight with the approximate cash amount of the televisions taken is around $2,073.76.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release on October 2nd seeking the public’s help in identifying a person in relation to one of the shoplifting cases. Information obtained by deputies led to arrest warrants being issued against Hardee.

As of 1pm today, Hardee remains in custody at the Detention Center on a combined $10,000 surety bond.

Missing Westminster Teenager Has Been Located

Kaleb Issac Randall - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing tonight that a missing Westminster teenager, 16 year old Kaleb Isaac Randall, has been located this evening and is in a safe location, which has been verified by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a press release earlier today seeking help from the public regarding Kaleb’s whereabouts.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help Regarding Missing Westminster Teenager

Kaleb Issac Randall - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to a Westminster teen that has been missing since Friday afternoon.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division received word today that 16 year old Kaleb Isaac Randall was last seen around 3:30pm Friday at an address on Commercial Circle. Deputies have been following up on leads that have come in but are concerned that Kaleb has not made contact with his family.

Kaleb is a white male, around 5’9” tall and 133 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. Kaleb reportedly has a tattoo on his left forearm. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and blue jeans.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Kaleb Isaac Randall, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you call Crime Stoppers and all information provided to Crime Stoppers is confidential.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Locates Missing Father and Children

David Augustus Mize

David Augustus Mize

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has located the missing father and three children that officers were searching for today in the Salem area.

The father, 49 year old David Augustus Mize of Mize Drive of Seneca, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center this afternoon around 1:36pm on three charges of Custodial Interference. The three children who were missing are 7 year old Acie Mize, 9 year old Macie Mize and 14 year old Josie Mize.

A family court order granted custody of the children to the Department of Social Services. Upon discovering this information, Mize took the children away from their temporary custodian.

Based upon information and evidence gathered as a result of the investigation into the disappearance of Mize and the three children, deputies responded to an address on Whitewater Falls Road in the Salem area around 12:45pm today. Officers located Mize and all three children at the scene in a trailer on the property.

Mize was taken into custody without incident and investigators found the children in good shape. Mize was transported to the Oconee County Detention Center while the children were in the process of being transferred into the custody of the Department of Social Services.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to also thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the regional office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for resources those agencies provided that assisted investigators in locating all the parties involved.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.

As of 3pm, Mize remained in custody at the Detention Center on a combined $15,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Seeks the Public’s Help in Locating Three Missing Children; Father Charged in Case

Macie Mize

Macie Mize

Acie Mize

Acie Mize

David Augustus Mize

David Augustus Mize

David Augustus Mize

David Augustus Mize

Josie Mize

Josie Mize

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating three children who are currently missing and their father, who has been charged with three counts of Custodial Interference.

The father charged in the case is 49 year old David Augustus Mize of Mize Drive in Seneca. The three children who are missing are 7 year old Acie Mize, 9 year old Macie Mize and 14 year old Josie Mize. All four have been entered into the National Crime Information Center Database.

A family court order granted custody of the children to the Department of Social Services. Upon discovering this information, Mize took the children away from their temporary custodian.

At this time, investigators do not believe that Mize has made any threats towards the children.

David Augustus Mize is a white male, 5’8” tall, around 220 pounds, bald or balding and has small tattoo on his right arm and chest. He is thought to be driving a 2002 silver single cab Dodge pickup.

7 year old Acie Mize is a white male, around 4’7” tall and around 80 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

9 year old Macie Mize is a white female, 4’9” tall and around 88 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

14 year old Josie Mize is 5’5” tall and around 250 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Investigators are not sure of a clothing description of the individuals and do not know a location of where they might be headed.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of David Augustus Mize, Acie Mize, Macie Mize and Josie Mize, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name and all information given to Crime Stoppers is confidential. If you tip leads to the discovery of the individuals named, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides Tips for Thanksgiving Travel and Black Friday

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————With the busiest travel day of the year for motorists tomorrow and the busiest shopping day of the year this Friday, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is providing some tips to help keep you safe over the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend.

AAA Carolinas is reporting that an estimated 660,000 South Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more this weekend, with Wednesday and Sunday being the days in which the most traffic is anticipated.

“Gasoline prices are some of the lowest we have seen in several years, so expect to have quite a bit of company on the roads if you travel,” according to Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “There are a few things you can do before you hit the road to help make your vehicle safe. Obviously make sure you vehicle is ready for travel by making sure that your tires are properly inflated and all your vehicle fluids are full. Second, plan out your trip and make sure that you know what route you will be taking and make sure your family and friends are aware of the route you will be traveling. Make sure you cell phones have a full battery as well in case you have to call for help.”

“Once you are on the roads, try to leave as early as you can on Wednesday,” says PIO Watt. “Traffic volume will increase as the day goes along, with the peak travel time between noon and 7pm, especially along the interstates and main highways. Also, anticipate an increased law enforcement presence and with the increased traffic volume, the potential for accidents goes up. Finally, be patient. Many people will be using the same roads you do so be courteous. Then, everyone will be returning home on Sunday so expect some heavy traffic volume then and continue to exercise caution and patience.”

In regards to shopping on Black Friday, many retailers will be opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day, not just early Friday morning. There is always the potential for theft and you may want to be prepared for the possibility that stores may have increased security measures in place.
Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw offers the following safety tips to increase your safety and decrease your chances of becoming a victim of a crime.

-Don’t buy more than you can carry. Bring along a friend to help, or ask an employee or another shopper for assistance when carrying packages to your car.

-Shop with only one credit card. It simplifies canceling purchases. Credit cards are considered generally safer than debit cards, especially when shopping online.

-Never leave your purse, wallet or phone unattended. Deter pickpockets by holding these items close to your person.

-Have your keys in hand when approaching your car, and remember to check the backseat before getting in.

-Have a plan for meeting at a pre-designated area in case you become separated from your children.

-Put purchases in the trunk if making multiple stops.

-Notify law enforcement or a store employee if you see an unattended bag or package.

-Obey The Laws… Drive the speed limit, stop at stop signs and don’t park in handicap spots. Be mindful of pedestrians, especially children.

“Also, if you plan to stay at home this weekend or stay within the confines of Oconee County, please know that we will have our normal and routine law enforcement operations going on and we will be monitoring the roads and shopping centers,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “Dispatch will be staffed as normal and will be available to handle calls for service, so if you have an emergency or need law enforcement to respond to where you are, we will be ready to respond.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Multiple Charges after Weekend Pursuit

Evan Craig Andrus

Evan Craig Andrus

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man over the weekend on multiple charges after a pursuit.

21 year old Evan Craig Andrus of East North Avenue was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:53am Saturday.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division on routine patrol early Saturday morning observed a vehicle, a white Ford Mustang, on Highway 59 near Earle’s Grove Road traveling at a high rate of speed towards the Tokeena Crossroads community. The deputy initiated a traffic stop but the vehicle did not stop and the deputy informed dispatch that a pursuit was underway.

According to the deputy, the vehicle traveled from Cedar Lane Road to Highway 24 to Pine Grove Road to Babb Road back to Highway 24 and into Anderson County. The vehicle then proceeded to turn onto Highway 243 towards Fair Play and then onto Jolly Road and crossed back into Oconee County. At times, the vehicle drove erratically and the driver also turned the headlights off at time in an attempt to elude the officers.

Once back in Oconee County, a second Uniform Patrol Deputy joined the pursuit. The vehicle went back down Pine Grove Road and then onto Babb Road, where a third deputy deployed stop sticks. The vehicle ran over the stop sticks which deflated two of the tires. The pursuit continued on Highway 24 back into Anderson County where the vehicle came to a stop on Boggs Drive behind the Townville Fire Department.

The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot, where a search began for the suspect involving multiple deputies. The driver was eventually located and placed under arrest. The driver was then identified as Andrus.

Andrus informed deputies that the vehicle did not belong to him and the vehicle was towed and the owner was notified. A check revealed that Andrus had a suspended license.

Andrus was charged in traffic tickets with Reckless Driving and Driving under Suspension and booked into the Detention Center. Warrants were also obtained by deputies charging Andrus with Failure to stop for a Blue Light and for being a Habitual Traffic Offender for multiple convictions for Driving under Suspension.

As of 1pm today, Andrus remained in custody at the Detention Center on a combined surety bond amount of $12,550.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Arrests of Five Final “Operation Ice Chizel” Suspects

Robbie Leigh Eades

Robbie Leigh Eades

Joseph Eugene Willoughby

Joseph Eugene Willoughby

Kimberly S. Justus

Kimberly S. Justus

Randall Joseph Emery

Randall Joseph Emery

Rebecca Lynn Roberts

Rebecca Lynn Roberts

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing today the arrest of the five remaining suspects in the eleventh “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up, entitled “Operation Ice Chizel.”

In all, the drug sweep netted 24 total arrests. As of 10am this morning, the final five arrested still remained in custody at the Oconee County Detention Center.

In all, 21 individuals were being sought on drug charges, which included three individuals already incarcerated elsewhere. The total number of arrests includes three who were not originally sought in the drug round up but were taken into custody as part of the execution of two search warrants.

In all, the Sheriff’s Office executed three total search warrants in the operation which netted additional drugs, weapons and money.

Here are the names of the final five suspects in “Operation Ice Chizel” and their charges according to warrants:

1) Randal Joseph Emery
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Trafficking in Methamphetamine, 2nd Offense – 1 Count
Booked in at 10:43pm on Saturday, November 21st
Surety Bond Amount – $50,000
A hold has been placed on Emery as well by the Clemson Police Department

2) Rebecca Lynn Roberts
Westminster, SC
41 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count
Three Magistrate’s Bench Warrants – City of Westminster
Booked in at Noon on Sunday, November 22nd
Surety Bond Amount: $10,000

3) Robbie Leigh Eades
Walhalla, SC
24 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count
Booked in at 11:02am on Saturday, November 21st
Surety Bond Amount: $10,000

4) Joseph Eugene Willoughby
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count
Booked in at 11:52pm on Saturday, November 21st
Surety Bond Amount: $10,000

5) Kimberly S. Justus
Westminster, SC
40 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 2 Counts
Booked in at 6:02pm on Sunday, November 22nd
Total Surety Bond Amount: $20,000

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Locating Five Remaining “Operation Ice Chizel” Suspects

Randal Joseph Emery

Randal Joseph Emery

Rebecca Lynn Roberts

Rebecca Lynn Roberts

Robbie Leigh Eades

Robbie Leigh Eades

Joseph Eugene Willoughby

Joseph Eugene Willoughby

Kimberly S. Justus

Kimberly S. Justus

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating the five remaining suspects in the eleventh “Operation Infinity” drug sweep round-up, entitled “Operation Ice Chizel.”

As of 9am this morning, 19 individuals total have been arrested so far in the operation that began officially last Friday. In all, 21 individuals were being sought on drug charges, which included three individuals already incarcerated elsewhere. The total number of arrests includes three who were not originally sought in the drug round up but were taken into custody as part of the execution of two search warrants.

In all, the Sheriff’s Office has executed three total search warrants in the past week which has netted additional drugs, weapons and money.

“Operation Ice Chizel has been a success so far but we have reached a point in our investigation in which we are seeking our final five suspects and we need the help of the citizens of Oconee County in order to make these final arrests,” says Lt. Jeremy Chapman of the Special Operations Division. “These individuals are wanted on charges of distributing meth in Oconee County, including one who is wanted on trafficking charges. The distribution of meth affects all of us in Oconee County and it is important that we hold these individuals, as well as the ones we have arrested so far, accountable for their actions.

Here are the names of the five individuals still wanted as part of “Operation Ice Chizel” and their charges according to warrants:

1) Randal Joseph Emery
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Trafficking in Methamphetamine, 2nd Offense – 1 Count

2) Rebecca Lynn Roberts
Westminster, SC
41 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count
Three Magistrate’s Bench Warrants

3) Robbie Leigh Eades
Walhalla, SC
24 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count

4) Joseph Eugene Willoughby
Seneca, SC
29 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 1 Count

5) Kimberly S. Justus
Westminster, SC
40 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1st – 2 Counts

If you know the whereabouts of these individuals, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Reminds Oconee Residents to Register with Alert Oconee With Winter Soon Here

Alert Oconee Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————–With winter just around the corner and with flooding and heavy rainfall that has already occurred across the state so far this fall, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents of Oconee County of a service they can register for to help keep them alert of emergency situations or disasters that may occur.

“Alert Oconee” is a regional notification system that is able to send telephone notifications to citizens of Oconee County to alert them to emergencies and disasters that could impact them, whether they are residents or work in a business in the county. Registration is available by logging onto www.alertoconee.com or by visiting the websites of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office (www.oconeelaw.com) or Oconee County Emergency Services (www.oconeecountyemergencyservices.com).

Registration only take a few minutes and requires answering just a few questions and includes providing your cell phone or landline number and e-mail address and deciding what alerts an individual wants to sign up for. Once entered, alerts will be sent to an individual on their cell phone, which includes text messages, their landline phone, their Voice over IP phone or via the e-mail address that a person provides. “Alert Oconee” also asks for address information so alerts pertaining to those areas can be sent to those who sign up and multiple addresses can be entered when someone registers. “Alert Oconee” acts as a reverse 911 system in Oconee County for those who have only a cell phone and/or a Voice over IP phone and not a landline phone. Registration is free and “Alert Oconee” is also accessible for those who may be hearing or visually impaired.

The funding for “Alert Oconee” is split between Emergency Services and E-911 Communications.