Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking the Public’s Help Regarding Three Seneca Wal-Mart Shoplifting Cases

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving three Seneca Wal-Mart shoplifting cases. Deputies are also seeking the public’s help in identifying two subjects, one male and one female, in relation to all three shoplifting cases.

A deputy responded to the store location on Sandifer Boulevard on May 31st, June 27th and June 28th regarding three separate shoplifting cases that occurred the previous evening. In each case, those who were responsible came in during the nighttime hours each time and entered the store in the same place each time. In two of the incidents, deputies believe the subjects were in a white four door Honda with no window tint or possibly in a red Ford Ranger extended cab with side steps.

The combined amount of merchandise taken in these three shoplifting cases is around $4,700.

If you have any information on these shoplifting cases or the identity of those in pictures provided by the Sheriff’s Office, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. 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 Arrests Anderson County Man on Outstanding Shoplifting Warrant

Kenneth Antwan Rice

Kenneth Antwan Rice

Jasmine Lizette Isom (Photo Courtesy of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office)

Jasmine Lizette Isom (Photo Courtesy of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office)

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson County man Saturday afternoon on an outstanding warrant on charges of shoplifting. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking one other person with an outstanding warrant in relation to the case.

26 year old Kenneth Antwan Rice of Whitner Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:46pm.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the Wal-Mart on Sandifer Boulevard in Seneca the morning of June 8th regarding a shoplifting that occurred on June 6th in which surveillance video shows Rice coming in and out of the store multiple times with items from the store. Rice is accused in warrants of taking 77 items from the store, with a value of around $5,092.47.

Rice is seen getting into a Pontiac Van driven by 24 year old Jasmine Lizette Isom of Brookmeade Drive in Anderson. Deputies obtained an arrest warrant against Isom for Accessory After the Fact of a Felony on June 9th, which is the same day that deputies obtained the arrest warrant against Rice for Shoplifting.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jasmine Lizette Isom, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. 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 Seeking the Public’s Help Regarding July 21st Wal-Mart Shoplifting Case

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving a July 21st shoplifting case at the Seneca Wal-Mart on Sandifer Boulevard.

The Sheriff’s Office is also seeking the public’s help in identifying two individuals, one male and one female, in relation to the shoplifting.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division responded late in the afternoon on the incident date regarding an employee who stopped a male subject at the exit of the store and asked to see a receipt. The subject produced a receipt and then left a cart with items inside, even items that were paid for. The subject then left the store.

A deputy observed surveillance footage of the subject scanning items and placing them either in a shopping cart or in grocery bags with items that had already been scanned.

According to deputies, $37.78 in items was paid for while the total amount of the unpaid items was $225.62.

All of the items were recovered by the store and the suspect’s vehicle is unknown at this time.

If you have any information on this July 21st shoplifting at the Wal-Mart in Seneca or the identity of those in relation to the shoplifting, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. 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 Uniform Patrol Deputy Obtains Traffic Safety Instructor Certification

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(From L-R): Lt. Dale Smith, Coordinator of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Traffic Safety Unit and Uniform Patrol Deputy Alan Sayre

(From L-R): Lt. Dale Smith, Coordinator of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Traffic Safety Unit and Uniform Patrol Deputy Alan Sayre

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Uniform Patrol Deputy Alan Sayre received certification on Wednesday that designated him a Traffic Safety Instructor, becoming the only law enforcement officer in Oconee County that currently has that certification and only one of 50 in the entire state of South Carolina.

Last year, Deputy Sayre obtained his Traffic Safety Officer Certification. To obtain his certification as an instructor, Sayre had to complete total of 11 specific traffic safety and instructor classes. Sayre obtained this certification at the Traffic Safety Officers Conference this month.

The process to obtain his instructor’s certification began back in 2007 and being certified in several different aspects of traffic enforcement, ranging from collision reconstruction to D.U.I. detection to speed measurement device operations.

“With the training that I have now regarding any motor vehicle collision with criminal intent that involves a fatality or great bodily injury, I can go back and reconstruct it in the science and physics of it and actually work up a physical reconstruction to be able to better define what happened,” says Deputy Sayre.

Another benefit to Deputy Sayre’s training will be in the role of teaching field classes and helping officers in the recertification process, since Sayre is certified as a speed measurement device instructor and for standardized field sobriety testing, for example. Plus, Deputy Sayre will be in a position to assist other law enforcement agencies if needed with assistance in regards to working traffic collisions.

Deputy Sayre believes that good traffic enforcement training in Oconee County will not only benefit Oconee County from the standpoint of cutting down on collisions and violations but also help in the process of reducing and preventing crimes in other areas, such as burglaries and larcenies since those who commit those crimes many times either drive or are driven to the scene of incidents to being able to administer field sobriety tests on individual during others non-traffic related incidents if the odor of alcohol is present to add another layer of testimony and evidence during a court trial.

“Deputy Sayre’s instructor certification will continue our commitment to provide our deputies with the best training possible in order to keep the citizens of Oconee County safe,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Deputy Sayre will be able to offer what he has learned in his training to help further train and educate officers in Oconee County. He has worked extremely hard in order to obtain his instructor certification and this will prove to be a huge benefit to our law enforcement officers and those we serve every day.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kelly Winchester Selected To Attend National Sex Offender Investigator Training

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Last week, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kelly Winchester participated in sex offender training that was held in Crystal City which is near Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Sgt. Winchester, who is the Sex Offender Registrar for the Sheriff’s Office, attended the Sex Offender Investigator Training Program which was hosted by the United States Marshals Service at the National Sex Offender Training Center. The training was extended by the Marshals Service on an invitation basis only.

Winchester received a certificate at the conclusion of the three day training session acknowledging that she successfully completed the training program. Part of the training entailed building networking relationships and contacts with law enforcement agencies in other parts of the country as well as on the federal government level, plus, Deputy Winchester also learned of resources, tools and information that are available to assist her in her job.

Besides hearing from speakers from the Marshals Service, Winchester and those who attended also heard from individuals from the State Department, Interpol, and from the military liaison who works at the Training Center as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who discussed ways that those organizations and agencies can assist local law enforcement with sex offender issues. In some of the information presented, for example, the Marshals Service discussed how they build cases on the federal level, plus, the speaker for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children talked about resources they have to assist law enforcement with offenders who have absconded, which would be offenders who fail to register or leave secretly to avoid law enforcement detection, which is a criminal offense.

“I have point of contacts with those in the targeting center and law enforcement contacts around the country as a result of this training,” says Sgt. Winchester. “I have phone numbers and e-mail addresses and in that way if we have specific requests and need specific help then we can branch out to them and ask them to help me.”

“The Marshals Service has a Behavioral Analysis Unit and we heard from the two doctors’ who head up the unit, including one who is a clinical psychologist who worked in the Bureau of Prisons,” continues Sgt. Winchester. “Their presentation helped those who were there learn more about sex offenders and their behavior from a psychological perspective”

“To be the only law enforcement officer in our state to be invited by the Marshals Service to attend this training speaks well of the respect that Kelly has among her peers and the job she is doing as the Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Registrar in helping to keep the citizens of Oconee County safe,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “The training and resources that Kelly received will allow her to have all she needs to make sure that those on the registry who move in and out of Oconee County remain compliant and if they chose not to, to be able to have all the tools at her disposal to hold them accountable in the eyes of the law.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Announces Additional Arrests in Tenth “Operation Infinity” Drug Round-Up

Rhonda Carol Crawford

Rhonda Carol Crawford

Tammy Renee Cobb

Tammy Renee Cobb

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing today two additional arrests in the 10th “Operation Infinity” drug round-up.

The Sheriff’s Office began the operation with a meeting and briefing at 9:00am Friday, July 10th.

In all, 14 individuals were being sought on a variety of drug distribution and two on unlawful neglect of a child charges.

As of midnight last night, 10 individuals had been arrested so far. Here are the latest individuals arrested so far:

1) Rhonda Carol Crawford
Salem, SC
36 years old
Distribution of Methamphetamine (2 counts)
Arrested on July 14th, 2015/Released on July 15th, 2015

2) Tammy Renee Cobb
45 years old
Seneca, SC
Distribution of Methamphetamine (1 count)
Arrested on July 21st, 2015/Released on the same day

The Sheriff’s Office is still seeking six others as part of the tenth “Operation Infinity” drug sweep. Due to the fact that the investigation and drug sweep is continuing and ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing their names at this time.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Greenville County Woman on Outstanding Grand Larceny Warrant

Andrea Leigh Murphree

Andrea Leigh Murphree

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Taylors, South Carolina woman on an outstanding warrant on charges of Grand Larceny.

38 year old Andrea Leigh Murphree of North Walden Point was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:12pm after turning herself in. The Detention Center lists her address as Rolling Hill Road in Columbia, South Carolina.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded on Valentine’s Day 2014 to an address on Jones Kinder Drive in Seneca regarding the theft of jewelry from a couple. The deputy was told that Murphree had been staying at the residence but left when confronted by the couple about the missing jewelry.

The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division and a warrant was obtained on February 21st, 2014 charging Murphree with taking around $2,200 in jewelry. Officers’ attempts to find Murphree in Greenville County in April of 2014 proved unsuccessful.

Murphree was released earlier today from the Detention Center. Her total surety bond amount was $25,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests North Carolina Man on Multiple Charges

Michael Lee Harrell

Michael Lee Harrell

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Lexington, North Carolina man yesterday after responding to a call in the Westminster area.

25 year old Michael Lee Harrell of Boones Cove was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:32pm. The Detention Center lists Harrell’s address on Long Drive in Westminster.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a separate address on Long Drive yesterday morning regarding a report of a burglary in a building on the complainant’s property. The complainant further stated that the suspect was at a neighbor’s house. Westminster Police Department units arrived on the scene as well to provide assistance.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that Harrell had broken into the building and had placed items from the building in his truck.

While that investigation was continuing, a separate complainant advised the deputy that a vehicle had been broken into on their property and that items were missing from the vehicle. The items taken from the vehicle were also discovered in Harrell’s truck as well.

Harrell was placed under arrest and a search incident to arrest produced a clear plastic bag on Harrell’s person that contained marijuana. Harrell was given a ticket for simple possession of marijuana and was taken to the Detention Center and booked in on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants could be obtained.

In warrants obtained yesterday, Harrell was charged with one count of Second Degree Burglary, two counts of Petit Larceny and one count of Breaking into a Motor Vehicle.

A hold was also placed on Harrell due to a violation of his probation in the state of North Carolina. Harrell remains in custody this morning at the Detention Center.

Oconee County Sheriff‘s Office Holds Domestic Violence Training On New Domestic Violence Law

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Domestic Violence Training #1

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Last week, officers with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office participated in training concerning the new Domestic Violence law.

The Domestic Violence Reform Act became effective with the signature of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley back on June 4th. The training was conducted by 10th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Blair Stoudelmire and was held in the 2nd floor training room at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla.

“The Sheriff’s Office has held training for officers in the county for the past two years regarding domestic violence and this training continues the commitment for officers to receive the best training available when it comes to the issue of domestic violence,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Needed changes in the domestic violence law were made that will allow law enforcement to be more effective. This training provided our officers with a better understanding of the changes in the law and tools that will help them in the prosecution of these cases.”

One of the biggest changes regarding the new law is that the determination of charges is based on levels of degrees, similar to the current Assault and Battery laws. There are also circumstances that can upgrade the level of the degree of a domestic violence arrest, for example, whether a protection order was violated or whether a minor was present or perceived a threat or whether someone was blocked from seeking help to whether a firearm was used. Also taken into consideration regarding the seriousness of the crime are how many convictions a subject has had within the past ten years. In addition, the penalties for a conviction have been increased.

Discussion during the training included the law concerning new types of restraining orders, including Emergency Restraining Orders, which is issued by a magistrate and remains in effect until a hearing can be held on a Permanent Restraining Order. A Permanent Restraining Order is another type of new restraining order that can be issued by the General Sessions or Family Court at the time a defendant is convicted of an offense or by Common Pleas court in the county where the defendant committed a crime and remains in effect for a time period that a judge specifies and is good for a victim and a witness as well.

“Our officers have received domestic violence training in the last couple of years from Safe Harbor as well as the South Carolina Attorney General’s office and from our domestic violence investigator Sergeant Kevin Cain,” continues Sheriff Crenshaw. “The Sheriff’s Office remains committed to reducing the numbers of domestic violence incidents in Oconee County and deputies began enforcing these new laws as soon as we were able to after June 4th. Our partnership with the Solicitor’s Office and the passage of the new law are steps in the process of changing a culture of domestic violence in Oconee County.”

11th Annual S.C. Apple Festival Car Show Just Around the Corner

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc. and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that the 11th Annual S.C. Apple Festival Car Show, to benefit Crime Stoppers of Oconee County, Inc., is set for Saturday, September 12th.

The Car Show will be located on East Main Street in Westminster besides Hardee’s, with registration from 9am until Noon. Judging will be held starting at Noon and prizes will be awarded starting at 1pm. Door prizes will also be available as well.

The registration fee is $15, with vendor spaces also available at $15 as well.

The Car Show will include motorcycles and 4 x 4 Wheel Drive vehicles.

For more information, contact Larry Dellinger at 864-647-5487.