Two Suspects in Custody Following Search
Two Suspects In Custody Following Search. Investigators Clear Morning Burglary and Recover Stolen Property
A burglary, stolen lottery tickets and fleeing suspects have made for a long day for deputies in Newberry County.
Just after 3am, deputies with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office discovered Sligh’s Superette, a convenience store, located on Highway 391 outside of Prosperity broken into. Investigators say that lottery tickets, cigars and cigarettes valued at less than five hundred dollars were taken from the store. The deputy found the burglary just thirteen minutes after it was recorded on store video.
At about 1:00PM, two black males entered Bower’s BP located in Prosperity and attempted to redeem winning lottery tickets. As the clerk observed the men’s actions, he became suspicious and refused to cash in the lottery tickets. The clerk was able to get the vehicle description and the tag number of the vehicle and contacted law enforcement.
A Newberry County deputy was in the area and stopped on Highway 391 to see if the vehicle came by. From a distance away, the deputy saw the suspects quickly turn the vehicle around to avoid him and took off in the opposite direction. As the deputy attempted to locate the vehicle, he found it abandoned on the side of the road with the doors open just off at the intersection of Ira Kinard and Walker road. Two suspects were fleeing the vehicle as the officer came into view. The suspect’s vehicle was a dark green 1999 Honda Civic.
Investigators arrived on the scene and requested bloodhounds and helicopter support from the State Law Enforcement Division. Because of another ongoing call in another location in the state, investigators thought the SLED helicopter would be delayed so the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office provided air assistance as well.
Investigators say that in the vehicle they found more lottery tickets and while there received confirmation that the tickets attempted to be cashed at Bowers BP were in fact stolen from Sligh’s Superette as were the ones in the car.
Officers canvassed the area now confident that the suspects would either be responsible for the previous burglary or at least a vital link to identifying the persons responsible.
As a result of the investigation in the neighborhood, officers were able to take the two suspects into custody. The men were arrested at different homes in the community to which they had ties and both were arrested between 4 and 5PM today and both were arrested without incident.
The men were identified as:
Arsenio Bobby Epps, 32, of Grant Drive, Prosperity, SC charged with Receiving Stolen Goods.
Taparrish Javontre Sims, 18, of Sandy Manor Court, Leesville, SC charged with Burglary and Petit Larceny.
Warrants will be served on Sims in the morning for the Burglary at Sligh’s Superette and he will remain in custody until that time. He will have a bond hearing after the charges are filed.
Epps will see a Newberry County Magistrate in the morning for bond on his charge.
Additional charges are expected. Additional updates and releases will be issued as warranted.
“This was the perfect combination of an alert clerk, an alert deputy, cooperation within agencies to control the area and good old fashioned investigations to track the suspects in the neighborhood while the perimeter officers kept them from fleeing the area,” said Sheriff Lee Foster. “Hats off to everyone who worked on this investigation today and Newberry County can be proud of those who participated and worked to make sure that community could feel safe tonight.”
Sheriff Foster thanked the many members of the community who offered water and support during the incident.
Foster said that several volunteer fire and rescue members came out and set up hydration stations and directed traffic to keep the officers hydrated in the hot weather and freeing them to take part in the search for the men.
Sheriff Foster also thanked SLED and Lexington County for their invaluable assistance in this case.
In addition to this incident, the 911 center also had a structure fire at a shed that spread to a home keeping the center extremely busy throughout the day.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2222 or www.newberrycountysheriff.com.
You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC, www.sccrimestoppers.com or text your tip to “TIPSC plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).