Monthly Archives: December 2016

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Locating a Suspect Wanted in a Wednesday Evening Strong Armed Robbery

BQS Strong Armed Robbery - Picture One

BQS Strong Armed Robbery - Picture Two

William James Wood

William James Wood

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a suspect wanted in a strong armed robbery that occurred Wednesday evening at a convenience store near Fair Play.

An arrest warrant was obtained yesterday based upon evidence gathered during the investigation against 37 year old William James Wood of Pebble Stone Drive in Fair Play. The arrest warrant is for one count of Strong Arm Robbery.

Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division were dispatched Wednesday evening to the Bountyland Quik Stop location on south Highway 11 near Interstate 85 in regards to reports of a male who entered the store and demanded money.

The white male, wearing a leather jacket, gloves and a motorcycle helmet, stole around $810.00 and left the store. Wood reportedly did not produce a weapon while in the store but did reportedly reach over the counter and took the money.

Other surrounding law enforcement agencies were notified and the case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of William James Wood, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crimestoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking the Public’s Help in Solving December 22nd Seneca Area Burglary and Larceny

Subject - Picture One

Subject - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving a December 22nd burglary that occurred in the Seneca area on Old Clemson Highway.

The Sheriff’s Office is also seeking the public’s help in identifying two individuals in relation to the burglary, including one who was captured on camera at a convenience store close by.

Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the Old Clemson Highway address last Thursday evening in response to a reported burglary that occurred the same evening. The deputies spoke to the victim who told deputies that cash and an electronic item were taken from the home.

A camera inside the home captured two black males who made entry into the house, one of which was wearing what appeared to be a dark hoodie, dark pants and black and white shoes. The second subject appeared to be wearing a long sleeve orange shirt and shorts with a white stripe and a pair of white shoes. The first subject also appeared to be brandishing a weapon.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigation Division. As the investigation continued and evidence continued to be gathered, deputies learned that one of the subjects connected to the burglary walked into a nearby convenience store after getting out of a silver car with a sunroof. The subject paid for an item he selected and then left the store in the silver vehicle. Deputies believe that the other subject connected to the burglary was also in the same vehicle.

If you have any information on this December 22nd Old Clemson Highway burglary and larceny and/or the identity of one of both of the individuals in relation to this incident, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crimestoppers and all information is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Strong Armed Robbery at Highway 11 Convenience Store

Sheriff's Badge

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a strong armed robbery that occurred earlier this evening at a convenience store near Fair Play.

Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division were dispatched to the Bountyland Quik Stop location on south Highway 11 near Interstate 85 in regards to reports of a male who entered the store and demanded money.

The male stole an undisclosed amount of money and left the store. The suspect in question reportedly did not produce a weapon while in the store.

Other surrounding law enforcement agencies were notified and the case has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

“Due to the fact that this investigation is in its early stages and to preserve its integrity, the Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing any further information as of right now,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “At this time, however, we do not feel the public is in any danger and more information concerning this case will be forthcoming at a later time.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Regards to a December 10th Shoplifting at the Seneca Walmart

December 10th, 2016 Walmart Shoplifting Picture

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to solving a December 10th, 2016 shoplifting that occurred at the Seneca Walmart.

The Sheriff’s Office is also seeking the public’s help in identifying an individual in relation to the shoplifting.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the store location at 1636 Sandifer Boulevard regarding a shoplifting in which a Garmin GPS, valued at $168.54, was taken.

According to an employee of the store, a white female was inside the store and left the store passing all points of sale without paying for the GPS that was opened in another section of the store.

The employee also stated that the female concealed the item and then left the store. The female originally had a shopping cart with items inside that was left in the store.

If you have any information on the December 10th, 2016 shoplifting at the Seneca Walmart and/or the identity of the person in relation to the shoplifting, you are asked to contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you call Crimestoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Teenager on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges

Edward Micajah Alexander

Edward Micajah Alexander

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an 18 year old Salem teenager on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 2nd Degree.

Edward Micajah Alexander of North Little River Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:09am by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

Sgt. Tim Rice, the Child/Elder abuse investigator with the Sheriff’s Office, was notified on December 13th of a report of a possible sexual assault with a minor that occurred at Eagle Ridge Charter School in Salem. The Salem Police Department had requested the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that Alexander and the victim had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct on November 30th of this year. The victim is a female and is between the ages of 11 and 14 years old.

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

Alexander was released from the Detention Center earlier today on a $40,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Provides Safety and Travel Tips for Christmas and New Year’s

Sheriff's Badge

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays just around the corner, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is offering some safety tips as you prepare to celebrate with your family and friends.

“Travel for Christmas and New Year’s is somewhat different than what you normally see over Thanksgiving,” according to Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Instead of having a couple of days around Thanksgiving where traffic is heavy, you will have more intermittent times when the roads and highways will be busy. Therefore, prepare for times when you will see plenty of vehicles if you travel on the roads or highways.”

“According to AAA, a little over 1.4 South Carolinians will be traveling 50 miles or more during this time period so if that includes you, make sure your vehicle is safe before you travel,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “First, make sure your tires are properly inflated and that all your vehicle fluids are full and do a routine maintenance check on items such as your brakes, hoses, belts and your battery. Secondly, plan out your trip and make sure to know the routes you will be taking and the time you will leaving to travel and how long it will take you to reach your destination and make sure your family and friends are aware of this information. Make sure you cell phones have a full battery as well in case you have to call for help and just in case you have some vehicle problems, carry with you some non-perishable food and water as well as some extra clothes and blankets in case you become stranded.”

P.I.O. Watt also reminds those who are traveling to expect an increased law enforcement presence from now right through January 3rd. If you do plan to consume alcoholic beverages as you celebrate over the next several days, have a designated driver if you plan to travel afterwards and make sure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seatbelts.

There is also normally a suspension of non-emergency highway construction work during the holidays on interstates and major highways. However, even with the work suspended, look out for the possibility of lane closures and lane shifts and watch your speed in these areas, says PIO Watt.

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw is also offering these tips to not only protect your home and property but also for you to stay safe while shopping not only at stores but also online as well:

• If you are going to be gone from home for the next several days, put your lights on an automatic timer.
• Have a neighbor or close friend or family check up on your property and have newspaper and mail delivery stopped.
• Turn on lights and music or the TV in your home to give the appearance that someone is there and make sure all doors and windows are locked.
• Place gifts in places in your home where they cannot be seen from the outside and if possible, be sure to plan to be home for deliveries of items ordered online.
• At malls and shopping centers, park in well-lit areas and be aware of your surroundings. Also, place shopping bags in your trunk and lock your vehicle and close all windows.
• Pay with one credit or debit card for all items if you can and make sure that you take those cards with you when you leave a store. Also, report all missing credit or debit cards and checkbooks immediately to law enforcement so a report can be filed. Call the bank or your financial institutions to cancel those accounts as well.
• Shop with friends, family or with a group. There is always strength in numbers! Also, place wallets inside a coat or in a front pocket of your pants. Carry purses close to your body as well. Also, have your keys in your hands as you prepare to enter your vehicle and check inside of your vehicle as well before you get in.
• If you are shopping with children, make sure to have a plan in case a separation occurs and if it does happen, teach them to avoid strangers but only speak with a store employee, a security guard or a law enforcement officer. Make sure they know certain information, such as their parents name, their address and cell phone numbers if possible.
• Before shopping online, make sure all security updates are completed on your computer and make sure your computer has security software installed that prevents viruses, spam and malware from attacking a computer. Also, do not provide personal or financial information and passwords, unless you initiate the contact.

“Finally, if you are going to be enjoying Christmas and New Year’s at home in Oconee County, please know that our dispatch will be staffed as normal and will be available to handle calls for service and we will have our normal law enforcement operations right through the holidays,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. So, if you have an emergency or need law enforcement to respond to where you are, we are ready to respond.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Charges of Attempts to Purchase Pseudoephedrine above the Legal Limit

Thomas Lee Lanning

Thomas Lee Lanning

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man and booked him into the Oconee County Detention Center early Monday morning on charges of Attempting to Purchase Pseudoephedrine above the Legal Limit.

48 year old Thomas Lee Lanning of Johnny Cox Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:17am by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division.

An agent from the Narcotics Division began an investigation on December 1st and began gathering evidence regarding Lanning attempting to purchase Pseudoephedrine above the legal limit.

According to the investigation, Lanning was blocked or denied from purchasing Pseudoephedrine with the most recent block on November 23rd.

The attempted purchase on November 23rd placed the total amount of Pseudoephedrine above the legal amount of 9 grams that one individual can purchase in a 30 day period. Lanning also attempted to purchase Pseudoephedrine on November 4th, which was also blocked.

Pseudoephedrine is a primary ingredient in the production of illegal Methamphetamine.

Lanning was released from the Detention Center on Monday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Salem Man on Weapons Charges

Joey Liston Smith

Joey Liston Smith

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man yesterday evening on charges of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

47 year old Joey Liston Smith of Tilson Circle was booked into the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office around 10:20pm.

Deputies from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on North Highway 11 in response to reports of a person with a weapon. At that location, deputies spoke with the victim. The victim stated that he let an individual at the Tilson Circle address use his vehicle and went to speak with the person he allowed to use the vehicle.

Smith allowed the victim to enter the residence. The victim asked to speak with the person whom he allowed to use his vehicle, however, once inside, the victim stated that Smith made threats against him, used profanity and eventually placed a pistol under the victim’s chin. Smith also made threats against the victim as the victim made left the residence.

As the investigation continued, deputies were able to confirm the identity of Smith while also being informed that Smith had two outstanding warrants on him from the Salem Police Department.

The deputies then went to the Tilson Circle residence to speak with Smith. Deputies eventually made entry into the residence and placed Smith under arrest and continued the investigation.

Deputies also received consent to search the residence, whereupon, deputies discovered a firearm, which Smith later admitted to deputies was his.

Deputies also placed Smith on a Temporary Custody Order on the weapons charge until a warrant was obtained today.

As of 3:30pm, Smith remained in custody at the Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Issues Release on Warning Signs of Possible Human Trafficking

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a press release today to discuss the warning signs of someone who is a victim of human trafficking.

“Even though we are not aware of any issues right now in Oconee County, we want to be proactive due to our county being geographically located between Charlotte and Atlanta and there is a four mile stretch of I-85 that runs through the southern part of our county,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “With those factors in mind, we are issuing this release with some indicators of human trafficking so our citizens can be better informed. I am asking our citizens to read over and remember these tips and I will be reinforcing to our officers the importance of continuing to watch for these signs as well.”

Human trafficking affects all walks of life in the United States and victims can be U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, visa holders and undocumented workers. The victims will often not seek help or perhaps identify themselves as victims due to a variety of factors, including being instructed to by those who are trafficking them.

Victims could avoid eye contact and could be fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous and paranoid, according to statistics provided by the National Sheriffs’ Association. Victims could also become fearful or exhibit anxious behavior when the subject of law enforcement is brought up.

“The victims are exploited as either forced laborers or coerced through fraud or force to become sex slaves,” continues Sheriff Crenshaw. “Human trafficking can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race or economic standing. Often times, victims are coerced due to the fact of debt, for example, or they or their families may have been threatened in some way. There are many victims who are under the age of 18.”
Besides the signs already mentioned, here are some other signs of possible human trafficking that need to be watched out for:

• A minor who is unaccompanied at night.
• Someone who is having their movement and their use of communications devices restricted
• A victim who is being drugged or coached to ensure compliance
• Signs of a victim being malnourished or obvious physical signs of injury
• A victim who is wearing only minimal clothing or is scantily clad
• A group of young victims displaying above signs exiting a vehicle all at one time.

If you suspect someone could be a victim of human trafficking, you can contact your local law enforcement agency or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text help to 233733. You can also visit the website of the National Trafficking Resource Center at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

If you are in immediate danger or a victim of human trafficking, you can always call 911.