Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Reminds Citizens to be Safe This Memorial Day Weekend

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-With the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day weekend, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those we serve of how to remain safe this weekend.

“From information that has been published by AAA Carolina’s, this could be the busiest traveled Memorial Day Weekend in a decade,” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. “When you travel, you will probably have quite a bit of company on the roads, so be patient and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination by leaving as early as you can.”

Traffic volume should start to pick up around lunchtime today and continue to possibly be heavy into the early evening hours as many individuals will be taking today off to make it a four day weekend. Interstates and main roads and highways will obviously see the most traffic, according to PIO Watt, and with road construction projects on many of those roads, caution is needed in those areas even though work will cease for the holiday weekend.

“Normal protocol is for work in the construction zones during the Memorial Day weekend to be suspended sometime Friday afternoon until midnight Memorial Day night,” continues PIO Watt. “However, there still may be lane shifts in those areas and construction equipment on the side of the road and in the medians. Also, speed limit changes in those areas may still be in effect and enforced even though work has been suspended.”

PIO Watt goes on to say that another good idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for summer travel by checking air pressure in your tires and by making sure that all fluids are filled to their proper levels and by checking belts, hoses and brakes as well.

There will also be many people celebrating this weekend and the Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone not to drink and drive and not to operate a vehicle or boat or watercraft while under the influence. Also, open containers are not allowed in county parks and recreation areas as well. Also, drivers should not text or do anything that could cause a distraction as they travel this weekend. Drivers and passengers should also remember to buckle their seats belts, even if they are traveling a short distance.

“The Sheriff’s Office Uniform Patrol Division will be conducting normal and full road patrol operations throughout the entire weekend,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “Our Marine One unit will also be on the lakes this weekend to help keep everyone safe on the water and this enforcement on land and water will include our county parks and recreation areas. As always, our mission is to keep our citizens safe as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country to keep us free.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Issues Release on Potential Fraud

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a release this morning to warn our citizens about a potential fraud from individuals calling residents reporting that they are from Microsoft Tech Support.

On May 7th, a deputy spoke with a Seneca area resident who told the officer that they received a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support who asked for remote access to the person’s computer. Permission was given and the individual began looking through personal files on the victim’s computer.

The complainant ended the session and called Microsoft, who told the victim that no one from Microsoft had contacted her. A Trojan was placed on the victim’s computer and has since been removed.

Yesterday, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office P.I.O. Jimmy Watt received a phone call from a separate individual stating that they received a call from an individual with a foreign sounding accent who asked if they were in front of their computer due to an error report that the caller claimed the individual sent regarding Malware or Viruses that were on the person’s computer. The caller wanted remote access to that computer.

The individual was at work and not if front of a computer and after questioning the caller, the caller hung up.

“We always advise individuals not to give personal information or financial information to anyone they don’t know of for anyone who calls requesting their information,” says P.I.O. Watt. “We are also advising residents not to grant remote access to their computers for individual who claim to be calling from a technology company unless they themselves initiated the call. Allowing remote access to these individuals could compromise personal files or allow them to place Trojans, Malware or Viruses on computers that could harm their system or allow someone access to sensitive information

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Tuesday Afternoon Bank Robbery

Bank Robbery Suspect

Bank Robbery Suspect

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Tuesday afternoon bank robbery that occurred near Seneca.

Dispatchers received a call around 4:22pm of a robbery that occurred at the Community First Bank located at the intersection of Highway 123 and Sheep Farm Road.

Pictures from the bank’s surveillance cameras showed the suspect as a white male wearing a green hat and a gray t-shirt with a Clemson insignia across the chest. Investigators do not believe that the suspect had a weapon and passed a note to a teller.

After money was placed in a manila envelope, the suspect ran out of the back of the bank. Investigators later found an undisclosed amount of money in a wooded area behind the bank that had red dye on it from the dye pack that exploded. Investigators believe that the suspect may have red dye on his clothing and his person.

Investigators have spent the afternoon since arriving on the scene gathering evidence and taking witness statements.

If you have any information on this robbery that occurred this afternoon or the identity of the individual involved, you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, 864-638-STOP or text in your tip to 274637. 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 Concludes Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week Activities

2015 Peace Officers Week – County Council Proclamation

Back of Blood Drive T-Shirt

Blood Conection Vehicle

Chief Davis Read County Council Proclamation

County Council Proclamation

Front of Blood Drive T-Shirt

Sheriff Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Davis (2)

Sheriff Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Davis (3)

Table

Tables

Training Room

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office concluded Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week activities late last week.

Last Thursday, around 50 guests attended the Sheriff’s Office held a Retirees’ Appreciation Luncheon. After a time of food and fellowship, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw made a few comments to those attending. Chief Deputy Kevin Davis then read a proclamation from Oconee County Council in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Also last Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office held their annual Bill Schuck Memorial Blood Drive, in which The Blood Connection collected 43 pints of blood. As of Monday morning, around $934 had been collected through the selling of commemorative t-shirts. The money raised will go toward the Schuck Memorial Scholarship fund.

On Friday, flags were flown at half-staff at the Sheriff’s Office and at government office buildings around the United States in observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is recognized annually on May 15th.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

(Walhalla, SC)———————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries in Oconee County.

“Motorcyclists will be on the roads as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Every summer we see more motorcycle riders on our highways . We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives.”

In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a decrease from 2012 (4,986). Those deaths account for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. in 2013.

Helmet usage remained the same from 2012 to 2013 at 60 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2013 because of proper helmet usage, but another 715 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn.

Sheriff Crenshaw offered tips to drivers on how to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:
• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
• Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
• Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
• Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
• Wear a state Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
• Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
• Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
• Never ride distracted or impaired.
“By following basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes,” Crenshaw said. “Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe — always share the road.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on CDV, Kidnapping Charges

Kenneth Lamar Wilson

Kenneth Lamar Wilson

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday afternoon on two arrest warrants charging him with Criminal Domestic Violence – High and Aggravated and Kidnapping.

48 year old Kenneth Lamar Wilson of Louise Wilson Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:43pm by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

A deputy met with the victim, Wilson’s wife, at the Sheriff’s Office this past Monday morning regarding an incident that occurred the previous day in which the victim stated that Wilson cussed and yelled at her, pulled her out of her car by grabbing her by the hair and threw her to the ground. Wilson then reportedly punched the victim in the face, used his knees to pin her shoulder to the ground, banged her head off the ground several times and put his hands around her neck and choked her. Wilson, according to warrants, also made threats to kill the victim.

Wilson then reportedly dragged the victim into the residence where her phone and car keys were taken away. The victim was able to convince Wilson to eventually let her leave.

As a result of the investigation, warrants were obtained against Wilson on Monday.

Wilson is still being held at the Detention Center on a $50,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help Regarding Recent Seneca Grand Larceny

Stolen Sea Doo's

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a recent Grand Larceny that took place in the Seneca area.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on Martin Creek Road on May 10th in regards to two Seadoo’s that had been stolen. Investigators believe that the Seadoo’s had been stolen sometime between Friday afternoon, May 8th and Saturday afternoon, May 9th.

The Seadoo’s had a purple covering over them and were reportedly on an aluminum trailer that was also taken as well.

Both Seadoo’s are 2001 model RXDI with a yellow top and black bottom. The combined value of the two Seadoos is around $7,500.

If you have any information concerning this Grand Larceny, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

United Way of Oconee County Announces Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Senior Famers Market

(Walhalla, SC)—————————-The United Way of Oconee County has announced the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
The program allows qualifying seniors’ to receive coupons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers this summer.
To qualify, you must be 60 years of age or older with a low income, provide proof of identity with a driver’s license or photo i.d. and proof of citizenship in Oconee County.
You must apply in person between 9am and 3pm on June 2nd, June 3rd or June 4th at the United Way offices in downtown Seneca.

Peace Officers Memorial Service Scheduled for Tonight in Anderson

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–A Peace Officers Memorial Services is scheduled for tonight in Anderson at 6pm at the Anderson County Courthouse.
A blue light motorcade will leave Anderson Mall and arrive at the Courthouse in time for the ceremony to begin.
The ceremony is sponsored by the Anderson Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10 and the keynote speaker will be Andy Bolt, who is an Anderson County native who served with the National Guard with Afghan Forces training their police force. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Conducts “Operation Family Friendly” This Past Weekend at Fall Creek Access

William Antonio Bautista

William Antonio Bautista

Sheriff's Badge
By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————This past weekend, deputies with the Uniform Patrol Division of the Sheriff’s Office patrolled on foot and in their vehicles for “Operation Family Friendly” at Fall Creek Landing Access in the Salem area at Lake Keowee.

The deputies not only met many of the individuals and families who were there as part of the Sheriff’s Office continued community policing efforts, but, deputies also wrote 20 citations while on patrol and made one arrest.

3 citations each were written for littering and drug violations and 14 citations were written for having an open alcohol container in a county park or recreation area. The individual arrested by deputies was 22 year old William Antonio Bautista of North Franklin Road in Greenville on charges of Possession of Marijuana – Less than 28 grams.

“The Sheriff’s Office believes strongly in community policing as one of the best ways to build trust with those we serve,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “I always encourage our deputies to personally meet as many people as they can face to face and I commend the deputies who were involved for their work to build those relationships.”

“As we get closer to Memorial Day and then between that time and Labor Day, our Marine Unit and deputies will be patrolling in their vehicles, on foot and in the water in the parks and on the lakes around the county and if we see any violations take place, we will not hesitate to issue citations and make arrests if necessary for offenses we see,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “We had several families who thanked us for our patrol’s this weekend. We want to do everything we can to make our parks safe for people to enjoy this summer in Oconee County.”