Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Mountain Rest Man on Attempted Murder Charges

Matthew Thomas Moore

Matthew Thomas Moore

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Mountain Rest man with Attempted Murder charges in relation to an incident that occurred yesterday morning.

Besides the Attempted Murder charge, 29 year old Matthew Thomas Moore of 225 Little Road in Mountain Rest has also been charged Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime.

According to investigators, deputies were dispatched to an address on Verner Mill Road in Mountain Rest around 9:44am. When the deputies arrived, they were notified that the incident that they had been dispatched to had taken place at the Little Road address. The suspect, identified as Matthew Moore, was approached by three of the deputies while another deputy attended to the victim in the incident.

Moore stated that everything was fine and nothing had happened. After Moore was placed in investigative detention, deputies were told that the victim came over to the Little Road address the previous night to watch television and then went to sleep on the couch. Moore got a ride to the Little Road residence the next morning where Moore went to his bedroom to retrieve an item and then accused the victim of taking an item of his.

According to the incident report, Moore reportedly assaulted the victim by hitting him on the head and face and Moore also reportedly had a knife in his hand. The victim got up and ran outside back to his residence, where 911 was called. Blood could be seen, according to the incident report, on the victim’s neck.

Investigators arrived on the scene and the victim was then airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Moore was transported to the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center for questioning and was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around midnight yesterday.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Burglary and Larceny Charges

Christina Collins

Christina Collins

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster area woman Tuesday on burglary and larceny charges.

20 year old Christina Lynn Collins of 221 South Spring Street, Apartment 221 in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:22pm. According to warrants, she has been charged with one count of Petit Larceny, one count of Grand Larceny, and one count of Second Degree Burglary.

According to investigators, a deputy responded to an address on Sigmon Drive in Westminster around 7:13pm Monday in regards to a burglary and met with a married couple. The husband told the deputy that he went inside his house and noticed that some items were gone, whereupon he went outside and called law enforcement. Once the deputy arrived on the scene, the house was cleared.

The victim told the deputy that various technology items and jewelry was missing from the home. The deputy then continued his investigation including taking statements from the victims.

As a result of the investigation, Collins was eventually arrested and charged. According to the arrest warrant on the Petit Larceny charge, Collins is accused of stealing a Phillips Blu- Ray Player, a grooming kit, jewelry, cash and video games from the Sigmon Road address. The Grand Larceny warrant charges Collins with stealing a television set, a PlayStation, two WII’s and other electronic equipment from the same location. Collins is accused of breaking into the Sigmon Drive address without consent of the owner with the intent on committing a crime in the 2nd Degree Burglary warrant.

Collins is still being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $15,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Informs Area Churches on Proper Safety Procedures

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-With issues that have arisen at churches across the United States in recent years, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office wants to take a proactive stance to inform churches about proper church safety procedures and laws that can help to protect churches during their worship services, especially as it regards organized disruptions of those services.

While churches in Oconee County have not seen many of the problems that other churches around the country have dealt with, Sgt. Mike McGowan feels that preparation beforehand is the best way to deal with any future problems that may arise.

“We used to say that certain things that happened in other places can’t happen here,” says Sgt. McGowan, who provides information and meets with local area churches to coordinate church safety meetings. “However, society has changed and churches need to understand the importance of being prepared before an event could happen. We are not trying to create panic but we are partnering with our area churches to keep everyone safe so they can enjoy their worship experience.”

Sgt. McGowan has held several church safety meetings with Oconee County churches to make them aware of certain issues that may arise, from how to protect church property to preventing break-ins and thefts to answering questions regarding the rights of Concealed Weapon Permit holders to carry firearms in churches.

“When most people think of church safety, the first thing that comes to mind is regarding church shootings and how to prevent them,” continues Sgt. McGowan. “However, church safety is a wide ranging set of issues and when I conduct church safety meetings, I talk about church shootings, but I also discuss how to prevent someone from taking money from their church to how to best protect their property from being vandalized to what the law says about Concealed Weapon Permit holders. It is a wide range of topics that come up during every meeting.”

One issue that has arisen in other parts of the country has been disruptions in church services, including individuals coming into churches and disrupting the pastor as the sermon commences. Section 16-17-520 of the South Carolina Code of Laws is the law that covers disruptions in worship services, or entering such premises while intoxicated, or using profane language. The charge carries a monetary fine of up to $100 or imprisonment up to 1 year or both.

Sgt. McGowan recommends the following safety steps for churches to deal with disruptions in worship services of any kind:

1) Someone in a leadership or office holding position should ask them to refrain from their activity or ask them to leave if they fail to do so. If at all possible, refrain from physically placing hands on those individuals unless it is necessary to protect themselves or others from physical harm.

2) Regardless of circumstances, 911 should be called to request law enforcement assistance. The Sheriff’s Office will respond immediately or notify the appropriate city police department.

3) If possible, someone should document the incident by recording the incident using a smartphone.

4) If deemed necessary, it may be a good idea to having the auditorium or sanctuary cleared for the safety of others who are there.

5) If they do voluntarily leave, try to get a vehicle description or tag number. Contact law enforcement with that information.

6) When law enforcement arrives and those individuals are still there, have those individuals who are disrupting the service placed on trespass notice. The Sheriff’s Office will arrest anyone in violation of disturbing a worship service.

7) Assist law enforcement with thorough written statements and any video evidence.

8) If in the future these individuals return, immediately call 911.

Sgt. McGowan also recommends that churches consider forming church safety teams consisting of current and retired law enforcement, military and Concealed Weapons Permit holders.

If anyone church is interested in hosting a church safety meeting with Sgt. McGowan, please contact him at 864-638-2017.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Oconee County Woman on Multiple Drug Charges

Brenda Rogers Bates

Brenda Rogers Bates

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman yesterday on multiple drug charges during routine road patrol operations.

52 year old Brenda Rogers Bates was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:36pm. Arrest warrants list Bates address as 162 Ashley Drive in Walhalla, while a uniform traffic ticket lists Bates address as 161 A Whitewater Farms Road in Tamassee.

According to deputies, an older Chevy vehicle was traveling on West-Oak Highway on the center line of the road. When a deputy noticed this happen a third time, a traffic stop was initiated in the 8500 block of West-Oak Highway.

The deputy identified Bates as the driver and according to the deputy; Bates appeared to be staggering when the deputy was speaking with her as though she may have been impaired. Bates reportedly told the deputy that she was not on medication and that there was not anything illegal in the vehicle after being asked by the deputy. Bates then gave the deputy consent to search the vehicle.

After receiving the consent, the deputy searched Bates’ purse, whereupon he found a small bag inside the purse that appeared to contain marijuana. Also, the deputy found a spoon and two syringes which are consistent with the use of methamphetamine. The deputy also discovered three baggies which appeared to contain meth, plus, four different pill bottles that contained a combined total of 31 pills believed by the deputy to be narcotics. Other items, including a scale and a few other bags were found as well.

Bates was placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and her vehicle was towed.

According to warrants, Bates was written uniform traffic tickets for simple possession of marijuana and for a violation of the County’s drug paraphernalia ordinance. According to the arrest warrants, Bates has also been charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute methamphetamine as well as possession with intent to distribute two controlled substances (alprazolam and hydrocodone).

At this time, Bates remains at the Oconee County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Central Man on Grand Larceny Charges

Chad Jeremy Dalton

Chad Jeremy Dalton

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Central man over the weekend on Grand Larceny charges after around $4,000 in cash was stolen from a Seneca area home.

41 year old Chad Jeremy Dalton of 268 Peach Drive in Central was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 2:31pm on Friday afternoon.

According to deputies, an officer responded to an address on South Walnut Street in Seneca due to a reported larceny. The compliant told the deputy that he allowed his grandson to stay with him overnight and in the morning discovered that the money was missing. The complainant stated that the only persons in the home besides himself were his wife and his grandson.

The complainant stated that the money was held in a safe in the basement but had been opened because the lock was rusted. The complainant stated that Dalton had gone downstairs to get some clothes and when he came back up; he was ready to leave and had called family to take him to Greenville.

According to warrants, the larceny took place on March 13th.

As of this time, Dalton is still being held at the Oconee Count Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Anderson County Man on Multiple Charges

Jack Daniel Glenn

Jack Daniel Glenn

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson County man over the weekend on multiple charges, including warrants dating back to 2003 and 2004, during routine enforcement operations.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office were conducting a license checkpoint Saturday evening in the 800 block of Coneross Creek Road near Seneca when a deputy noticed a black older model Chevrolet Blazer pull up to the checkpoint around 6:34pm. The driver of the vehicle told the deputy that he could not find the paperwork to the vehicle since the vehicle had been recently purchased, whereupon the deputy asked the driver to pull the vehicle to the side of the road in order to find the bill of sale.

A check of the driver’s license of the vehicle’s driver revealed that he was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office on warrants. The deputy informed the driver of the warrants and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle. The deputy then observed the driver hand some items to a passenger. There was also a black bag under the driver’s seat that almost fell out of the vehicle. The deputy asked the driver what was in the black bag and the driver stated drug paraphernalia. Consent was then given by the driver to the officer to search the black bag and the vehicle as well.

Upon a search of the black bag, a black case was found that contained needles and drug paraphernalia. A search of the vehicle revealed a blue pill bottle under clothes in the passenger seat that had no label on it. The driver took responsibility for the contents of the pill bottle. The deputy also observed a small baggie containing what appeared to methamphetamine, two small baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana, and 23 round white pills. The driver was then placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and the vehicle was towed.

38 year old Jack Daniel Glenn of 1036 Old Gantt Mill Road in Anderson was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance (Lorazepam). Glenn was also issued a uniform traffic ticket for simple possession of marijuana.

Glenn also had two outstanding arrest warrants, one from November 2003 for receiving/possession of stolen goods for having a white trailer in his possession that belonged to an individual in Anderson County that was recovered at a Lee Drive address in Fair Play and an April 2004 warrant for 2nd Degree Burglary for entering a residence on Lee Drive in Fair Play.

Glenn was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:42pm on March 22nd. Glenn received a personal recognizance bond on the simple possession of marijuana charges. Glenn is still being held though at the Detention Center on a combined $17,500 surety bond on the remaining charges.

The case remains under investigation due to items that were found in the vehicle during the inventory of the vehicle.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Copper Theft at Construction Site of New Walhalla High School

New Walhalla High School Construction Site 2

New Walhalla High School Construction Site

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a reported theft of copper from the construction site of the new Walhalla High School on Highway 11 at Picket Post.

According to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, deputies were dispatched to the construction site a little before 7am this morning for the theft which appears to have occurred sometime between 6pm Wednesday evening and 6am this morning. The theft occurred at storage trailers and involved the stealing of copper wire and copper tubing. Although no dollar amount is available at this time for the amount of copper taken, it appears to be “a substantial amount” according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

At this time, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators are on the scene. No arrests have been made.

This is the second theft of copper that the Sheriff’s Office has investigated recently. A theft of copper was reported from the construction site on October 10th of last year from the walls in a part of the new school building. Some of the copper taken in that theft was recovered, according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

If you have any information on this theft of copper from the construction site of the new Walhalla High School, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, 638-STOP, 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.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Invites Residents to Sign Up for Citizens Police Academy

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is inviting Oconee County residents to sign up now for an exciting new program that will give individuals a chance to experience what a day in the life of a police officer is all about.

The program is called “Citizens Police Academy” and citizens of Oconee County can sign up now for the classes at the website of the Sheriff’s Office at www.oconeelaw.com by clicking on the “Citizens Police Academy” link near the upper right portion of the website.

“This is an opportunity for residents to come in and be educated by the Sheriff’s Office instructors in the types of training that law enforcement officers are involved in,” according to Sgt. Mike McGowan, who is heading up the “Citizens Police Academy” program. “Individuals will have a chance to see much of the equipment that we use at the Sheriff’s Office, how it is used, and really understand the type of dedication it takes to become a law enforcement officer.”

Those who are selected will have a chance to meet the Command Staff and many of the deputies of the Sheriff’s Office. Some of the topics covered will be patrol operations, equipment and its uses, criminal investigations, E-911 communications, SWAT team operations, plus a judicial overview by one of the local judges, information on detention and narcotics. On a Saturday during the classes, instructees will observe a SWAT team demonstration. At the conclusion of the classes, those who participate will be given a shirt, a certificate and a class photo.

There is a selection process for those who sign up, which includes a background check. Sgt. McGowan is hoping to reach demographics from every walk of life in Oconee County, with the class size limited to 25 due to logistic limitations. The classes will meet for 10 consecutive weeks on Tuesday evenings with one Saturday meeting for the SWAT demonstration.

Participation in all the classes is important, according to Sgt. McGowan, due to the fact of the volume of information that is going to be presented. Missing two of more classes may result in a disqualification from the program.

The dates for the first “Citizens Police Academy” will be each Tuesday from Tuesday, September 2nd until Tuesday, November 4th from 6pm until 9pm except for the November 4th date, in which the time will be from 7:30pm until 9pm because of Election Day. The SWAT demonstration will take place at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Advance Firearms and Tactical Training Center on Saturday, September 13th from 9am until 12 noon. All those who are selected with be notified. There is no cost for those who are selected for the “Citizens Police Academy.”

“What we are hoping for is to continue our commitment to our Missions Statement, which is to make Oconee County a safer place for our residents to live, work and play,” according to Sgt. McGowan. “We also want to continue to build our partnerships with our friends and family in our communities in order to build those safer communities. Only together can we help to solve crimes and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

The other goal, according to Sgt. McGowan, is to have a “Citizens Police Academy Alumni” with this first class. These alumni will have an opportunity to support the Sheriff’s Office by encouraging participation in future academies and to promote the Sheriff’s Office through their contact with others outside the Sheriff’s Office.

“It has been my desire to have a citizen’s academy where we can teach our residents the how and why of law enforcement. If one understands what we do at the Sheriff’s Office, it will allow us to be even more successful in solving crime because it will strengthen the partnership that we need in order to be successful,” according to Sheriff Crenshaw.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Trespassing Charges

Kimberly Dawn Sorrow

Kimberly Dawn Sorrow

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Westminster area woman on trespassing charges after an investigation into a structure fire on the Utica Mill Hill.

19 year old Kimberly Dawn Sorrow, whose address on warrants is listed as 105 Leila Road in Westminster, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:21am Tuesday. Sorrow is being held at this time at the Detention Center on a $470.00 surety bond.

According to investigators, deputies responded to reports of a building fire on February 18th around 10:57am in the woods behind a residence at 130 E Street near Seneca. The building was burned to the ground despite the efforts of the Seneca Fire Department to put the fire out. Deputies spoke with a gentleman who told deputies that he manages and oversees the property for the owner of the property and produced a hand written note signed by both parties which allowed this to be the case.

The gentlemen told deputies that he had boarded up the building and had put no trespassing notices on the front of the building. He also told deputies that he had seen some subjects in the area and inside of the building on multiple occasions, including one individual who stayed in the building about a week before the fire, which led him to post the no trespassing signs and to board up the building. He also told deputies that there were a few boxes and a mattress in the building that were not there in the past.

According to warrants, Sorrow is accused of entering the building on February 18th between the hours of 6:00pm and 6:00am which was private property enclosed by walls and a lock and also had no trespass signs. The warrant goes on to say that a fire was started which inadvertently burned the building down during the course of the trespass.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Fair Play Man on Petit Larceny Charges

Daniel Neil Alexander

Daniel Neil Alexander

Crossroads Larceny Picture

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Fair Play man on Petit Larceny charges.

Back on February 14th, the Sheriff’s Office issued a press release seeking the public’s help regarding a larceny report from back on January 5th. According to the incident report, a deputy responded to Countryside Exxon in the Tokeena Crossroad Community around 5:40pm that day regarding a complainant who reportedly dropped a bank envelope that contained $500 on the floor of the business. The complainant told the deputy that once she realized she dropped it, she went back to the business but it was missing.

As a result of the investigation, 46 year old Daniel Neil Alexander of 284 West Pine Grove Road in Fair Play, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:39pm on March 15th. He was released from the Detention Center on a $2,130 surety bond Sunday.