Rock Hill teen charged in string of car break-ins

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comDecember 31, 2013 

— A teenager has been charged in connection with at least five car break-ins at a Rock Hill apartment complex after police found him walking near the cars with pot in his pockets, along with four debit cards he pilfered from his victims on Saturday, police say.

One of the victims reported to police that suspects went inside her Mitsubishi Montero and stole her $30 stun gun, according to Rock Hill police documents.

At about 2 a.m., police responded to Wildwood Springs apartments after receiving a calls from an anonymous source who spotted three men sporting hooded sweatshirts that covered half their faces looking into cars, according to a Rock Hill police report. When officers arrived, they found one teen, 16, walking in between cars parked at the complex. He wore a hooded sweatshirt.

The boy told officers he did not live at the complex, but was supposed to meet a friend there, the report states. He apparently forgot where he parked his car. The boy smelled of alcohol, police say, and appeared to be “disoriented.” The boy told police that he drank a wine cooler. Police searched the boy and found four debit cards in his back pocket bearing the names of three women and one man. He told officers the cards belonged to his friends. Police then found less than a gram of marijuana in his front pocket, along with $43 cash. He was charged with possession of marijuana and as a minor in possession of beer/wine, the report states.

He was later charged with breaking and entering an automobile after he told police he found the debit cards and a cell phone on the ground in the complex, the report states. He maintained that the cash was his. He was sent to the state Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

Once at the jail, police found that each of the card owners lived at the apartment complex. Officers called them, learning that someone had broken into their unlocked cars, stealing purses, cash and bank cards, police reported. Police returned the debit cards to their rightful owners, but were unable to lift any fingerprints from the cars.

Hours later, police spoke with a fifth victim, who reported that someone entered both her and her husband’s cars. Nothing was taken from the husband’s car, but the woman told police items in her car were tossed around and a $30 stun gun was missing from the glove box.

Police are still investigating to determine if more suspects might be involved.

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