Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host its second Coffee with a Cop on September 24th, 2014

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(Walhalla, SC)—On September 24th, officers from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members and the public are invited to attend. The event begins at 8am on September 24th at the Chick-fil-A in Seneca on the Highway 123 by-pass. Please contact Jimmy Watt with questions: 864-638-4199 or jwatt@oconeelaw.com.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Oconee County neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

United Way of Oconee County Hosting 1st Annual Poker Run

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(Walhalla, SC)———————————The United Way of Oconee County will be hosting their 1st Annual “Ride United Poker Run” this coming Saturday.

Registration will last from 10am until Noon at the United Way Office at 409 East North 1st Street in Seneca and all vehicles are welcome to participate.

Cost to enter is $25 per hand and the entry fee includes a t-shirt and a water bottle.

$500 will go to the best hand but all hands must be turned in by 4pm to be considered for the best hand prize.

All proceeds will benefit the United Way of Oconee County.

For more information or to pre-register, visit the United Way of Oconee website at www.oconeeunitedway.org.

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw Announces the Hiring of Part-time Investigator to Work on Unsolved Homicides

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By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw announces the hiring of Investigator Dean Brown, who will was sworn in by Sheriff Crenshaw on September 8th.

Brown, who has 28 years of law enforcement experience, will work part time three days a week on the unsolved cases that the Sheriff’s Office profiled last year.

Brown spent 15 years with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office on road patrol and with the narcotics division and 13 years as an investigator with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). He most recently worked as a part-time officer with the Salem Police Department.

Brown’s hire will be without any additional cost to Oconee County taxpayers. Recently, a part-time records clerk position came open and with improvements coming in technology with the records department, Sheriff Crenshaw decided not to fill that position and used that money to hire Brown.

“I feel fortunate to have someone with Dean’s background and qualifications to work on these unsolved cases dating back to the mid 1980’s,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “He comes in as a certified officer, knows the layout of our county, has worked many years as a criminal investigator, and can begin work immediately.”

“This hire will allow the Sheriff’s Office to keep the current investigators assigned to the new cases coming in along with keeping these older cases in the public eye,” continues Sheriff Crenshaw. “The families of these victims deserve some closure on their case. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to making sure that every lead has been exhausted and work to generate new leads.”

Anyone that may have some information on these cases which are listed on our website, www.oconeelaw.com, is asked to contact Investigator Brown at 864-718-1052.

Oconee Staff of Department of Juvenile Justice Participating in Restoring Carolina Program

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee Staff of the Department of Juvenile Justice will join other DJJ offices statewide to participate in the “Restoring Carolina through Youth Service,” which is taking place for the sixth consecutive year.

Throughout the state, DJJ staff along with youth, volunteers, and community partners will be participating in community service projects in the month of September.

The Oconee County Department of Juvenile Justice is working on two projects this year. One of those involves helping Camp Ghigau, which is located on White Rock Road in Tamassee, with remodeling and crocheting hats for cancer patients. The other involves helping the Foothills Pregnancy Care Center, which is located on Blue Ridge Boulevard near the Bountyland Community.

“Restoring Carolina though Youth Service” began to coincide with the National Day of Service, which is on September 11th.

In 2013, these service days combined the efforts of 1,369 participants including 650 DJJ staff, volunteers, community partners, and 719 juveniles who conducted 89 service projects in all 46 South Carolina counties.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Criminal Sexual Conduct, Kidnapping Charges

Michael Anthony Gilmore

Michael Anthony Gilmore

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday on two charges relating to an incident that occurred at the Tokeena Crossroads.

48 year old Michael Anthony Gilmore of 420 Ginger Drive in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:22pm on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree and Kidnapping.

Deputies responded to the Tokeena Crossroads area during the early morning hours of September 5th due to reports of a sexual assault. The victim, after telling deputies that she had been sexually assaulted, was then transported to the Oconee Medical Center. The victim was able to give deputies a location as to where the assault happened. Investigators from the Criminal Investigations Division met with deputies at the hospital and the case was turned over to them.

As the investigation continued, warrants were obtained charging Gilmore with sexually assaulting the victim. According to investigators, Gilmore also held the victim down and restricted her freedom of movement.

The location where the assault occurred, according to warrants, was at the intersection of Highway 24 and Crossroads Drive and occurred outside, according to investigators.

As of this morning, Gilmore was being held at the Detention Center on a $50,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking the Public’s Help in Finding Missing ATV and Trailer

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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 locating a missing All Terrain Vehicle and a utility trailer.

Deputies responded to an address in the 200 block of Tokeena Road yesterday just before 1pm in regards to a reported larceny. The complainant told the deputy that his 2006 Yamaha Rhino was stolen from the Tokeena Road location.

The replacement value of the Rhino, according to the owner, is around $10,000.

The complainant also stated that a black single axle trailer that was used to transport the Rhino and other items was taken as well. The complainant advised that the trailer was homemade.

The area where the items were taken is near the Cross Creek Subdivision. The items could have been taken anytime between midnight September 4th to the time they were reported stolen yesterday.

If you have any information on these missing items, contact 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeking Seneca Man Wanted on Outstanding Warrants

Alexander O'Neil Hunter

Alexander O’Neil Hunter

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a Seneca man wanted on outstanding warrants.

25 year old Alexander O’Neil Hunter, who goes by the name “Metro,” is wanted by deputies on charges of First Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny stemming from an incident that occurred on the Utica Mill Hill on July 2nd.

Hunter is accused of breaking into a house at an address on Ames Street at night and making off with electronics, money, a safe and clothes.

The Sheriff’s Office made one arrest in the case back on July 8th as 23 year old Precious Myriah Smith of Seneca was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center on the same charges.

According to warrants, Hunter’s address is listed as 618 South Alexander Road.

Investigators say that Hunter also has an outstanding General Sessions Bench Warrants from Pickens County. Investigators say that Hunter should be considered dangerous.

Anyone was has any information on the whereabouts of Alexander O’Neil Hunter is 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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

Phillip Leon Moore

Phillip Leon Moore

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man last Friday morning on charges of Grand Larceny for a theft that occurred at a Seneca area business.

50 year old Phillip Leon Moore of 506 East South 2nd Street was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:15am after turning himself in.

A deputy spoke to an employee of the Home Depot on Sandifer Boulevard in Seneca on August 28th concerning a report of a larceny. The employee stated that a former employee, Moore, was seen carrying power tools from an aisle in the store and going out the back door and that Moore was seen in the store at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

As the investigation continued, warrants were obtained by the Sheriffs’ Office on September 3rd charging Moore with carrying away various power tools from the store valued at around $4,064.00. According to investigators, all of tools taken have yet to be recovered.

Moore was released from the Oconee County Detention Center last Friday on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

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

Shannon Dale Ashworth

Shannon Dale Ashworth

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Iva man last Friday morning on charges of Grand Larceny from a July incident.

33 year old Shannon Dale Ashworth of 339 Baskin Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:34am after being picked up by a deputy from the warrants division from the Anderson City Jail.

A deputy responded to an address on South Highway 11 in the Fair Play area the morning of July 21st in response to a report of a stolen red in color 1991 Ford Mustang with a black top that was parked near the road as the vehicle was being sold by the owner. The owner was able to supply the VIN number and the tag number to the deputy at that time.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office on July 22nd responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle on Baskin Road in Iva and located the Mustang, which was processed, towed, and later returned to the owner.

Deputies from Anderson County later arrested Ashworth on August 5th on unrelated charges and a hold was placed on him not only by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office but also by the Anderson City Police Department. Ashworth was released by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office on August 18th and then transferred to the Anderson City Jail to face unrelated charges there.

The value of the Mustang, according to warrants, is around $10,000.

Ashworth was released last Friday from the Oconee County Detention Center on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Woman on Child Neglect Charges

Allison Sue Phillips

Allison Sue Phillips

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca woman Friday afternoon on two charges of Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

25 year old Allison Sue Phillips of 240 Bruce Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:13pm after she was picked up by deputies at her place of employment on her day off.

A deputy spoke with an employee of the Department of Social Services on June 10th in regards to a report of child neglect. An investigation began by the Sheriff’s Office.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Phillips had exposed her four year old child to methamphetamine and her two year old child to methamphetamine and marijuana. The discovery was made during a drug panel screening on both children back on April 25th. The incidents involving both children were said to have occurred at the Bruce Road address, according to deputies.

Deputies report that both children were turned over to a family member.

The arrest of Phillips brings the number of people to seven that have been arrested by the Sheriff’s Office on Child Neglect charges since last Wednesday.