Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Locates Child Reported Missing from Keowee Elementary School

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————-Earlier today, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Keowee Elementary School at 7051 Keowee School Road concerning a 3rd grader that was missing after walking out of an exterior door on foot at the school around 1:35pm.
The Sheriff’s Office was given a clothing and physical description of the child when it was notified around 2:29pm.
Several Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene, which included K-9 units. Ranger One, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, was also ready the fly as well.
After about an hour of investigating and searching, deputies received word that the child was found on Boone Dock Trail by a motorist, which is a dirt road behind the school.
The child was returned to the school around 3:30pm and was placed with his family. Paramedics were called to check on the child’s condition due to the cold weather, but the child appeared to be okay.
Based on the information provided to the Sheriff’s Office at the time the child disappeared, investigators do not believe that foul play was involved.
All deputies have cleared from the scene.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Locating Walhalla Man Wanted on Burglary and Larceny Charges

Nathan Lee Sloan

Nathan Lee Sloan

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

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

29 year old Nathan Lee Sloan, whose address on warrants is listed as 200-A South Pine Street is wanted on warrants charging him with First Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny.

Sloan is accused of breaking into a residence on Woosey Trail in Seneca on January 5th and stealing a New England single barrel .12 gauge shotgun.

The firearm has yet to be recovered, according to investigators.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Nathan Lee Sloan, 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 your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward. All names and information given to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and confidential.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests West Union Man on Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges

James Andrew Massey

James Andrew Massey

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a West Union man on two warrants charging him with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 3rd Degree.

25 year old James Andrew Massey of 207 Lee Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:48pm yesterday after turning himself in to a deputy from the Warrants Division at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center.

An investigation began back on December 29th of last year after a deputy responded to Oconee Memorial Hospital in regards to a report of a sexual assault.

As the investigation continued, investigators determined that Massey had inappropriately touched a female victim, who is 13 years of age, on two separate occasions between December 1st and December 29th of 2014. The incidents occurred at an address on Toccoa Highway near Westminster

The case involved only one female victim.

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

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host its third Coffee with a Cop on January 28th, 2015 – Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues

Coffee With A Cop Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—On January 28th, 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 January 28th at the Westminster Depot on East Main Street in Westminster. 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.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Locating Missing Woman

Katie Nicole Hicks

Katie Nicole Hicks

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing woman that was reported to the Sheriff’s Office this week.

The woman, 31 year old Katie Nicole Hicks, has an address listed by the Sheriff’s Office as 447 Spake Road in Pendleton. A deputy responded to her parent’s address in Oconee County Monday afternoon shortly after 4pm.

The parents informed the deputy that Katie and a grandson had been living with them at the parent’s home on West-Oak Highway. The deputy was informed that Katie left on Christmas Day headed towards Anderson and they have not spoken with her since. Katie does have some health issues and her parents and the Sheriff’s Office are concerned about her safety.

The deputy tried to reach Katie thru her cell phone but received no answer.

She was last seen driving a 2007 Chevrolet Gold HHR with a South Carolina tag of 4834GW with a University of South Carolina sticker on the back.

Katie was last spotted back on January 9th in Anderson County, according to information the deputy received.

Katie was entered into the National Crime Information Center after the report was filed and is listed as missing.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Katie Nicole Hicks 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 all names and information relayed to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and confidential.

Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, Attorney General Wilson, Law Enforcement, Victim Advocates, and Legislators United in Call for Domestic Violence Reform

Press Conference Photo

Sheriff Crenshaw - Picture One

Release Courtesy of J. Mark Powell
South Carolina Attorney General’s Office

Wilson: “We need immediate action on domestic violence reform.”

COLUMBIA – Sheriff Mike Crenshaw joined Attorney General Alan Wilson and numerous Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Solicitor’s, Victims’ Advocacy Groups, state law enforcement leaders, constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly today at a Domestic Violence Call to Action Rally in the State House lobby minutes before the 2015 session began.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Lt. Governor-Elect Henry McMaster, Speaker of the House Jay Lucas, Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin, Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone, Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, Christan Rainey, and Sara Barber, Executive Director of SCCADVASA, all spoke at the event.

Sheriff Crenshaw has made the fight against domestic violence a priority in Oconee County. He echoed the call to action and signed a letter to the General Assembly stating that despite years of effort, “South Carolina remains one of the most violent states for domestic violence. We cannot wait any longer for domestic violence reform.”

In this call for urgent action, Attorney General Wilson stated, “We must pass a comprehensive domestic violence bill so that South Carolina remains a safe place to live, work and to raise a family.”

On his first day of session as Speaker of the House, Jay Lucas joined Attorney General Wilson to share his agreement of the necessity of domestic violence reform. “We will pass a bill to give these issues the prominence they deserve and move them out of the back room.”

Sen. Larry Martin has already pre-filed a bill, S. 3, to address domestic violence reform. He said, “There is no reason the domestic violence bill should not be front and center very soon.”

Bolstered by the legislative support for domestic violence reform this year, Attorney Wilson further stated, “Our laws reflect our values, and our values are not adequately represented in the current framework.” He continued, “We don’t need to be a society that allows you get 5 years for beating your dog, but only 30 days for beating your wife.”

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen echoed the need for tougher penalties, “we need a tiered system to properly prosecute domestic violence offenders. For years we have asked for action. For years we’ve seen people murdered and children continue the cycle.”

Florence Sheriff Kenney Boone spoke to the cyclical nature of domestic violence. “There seems to be a culture in this state that domestic violence is OK. That culture must be changed.”

Solicitor Duffie Stone (Beaufort, 14th Circuit) stated, “I prosecute too many domestic violence cases. This must stop.”

Christan Rainey, from Real Men Against Domestic Violence, shared his testimony. “I’m here because in 2012, I lost everything to domestic violence. It’s going to take men to make other men stop killing women.”

Sara Barber, Executive Director of SCCADVASA, a leading victim’s advocacy group in the state urged, “Let’s make ‘smiling faces, beautiful places’ a reality for all families.”

The event included a poignant visual of red and blue silhouettes representing the men and women killed by domestic violence in South Carolina. This was the first time the Attorney General’s Office has used the silhouettes outside of the annual Silent Witness Ceremony. These silhouettes were held by law enforcement officials, members of the Attorney General’s office, and victim’s advocates.

These silhouettes surrounded the following individuals who stood with Attorney General Wilson and others at the event.

Constitutional officers present included Lt. Governor-Elect Henry McMaster; Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

All 16 Solicitors were represented by Duffie Stone, 14th Juridical Circuit, David Stumbo, 8th Judicial Circuit, and David Ross, Executive Director of the South Carolina Solicitor’s Association.

State law enforcement leaders included: Chief Mark Keel, SLED, Director Leroy Smith, SCDPS, Colonel Mike Oliver, SC Highway Patrol, and former SLED Chief Robert Stewart on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sheriffs included Kenney Boone, Florence; Wayne Byrd, Darlington; Al Cannon, Charleston; Mike Crenshaw, Oconee; Lee Foster, Newberry; and Jim Matthews, Kershaw. Jarrod Bruder, Executive Director of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association joined on behalf of other Sheriffs.

Police Chiefs were represented by Chief Greg Mullen, City of Charleston; Chief Brian Buck, Irmo; Chief Eddie Driggers, North Charleston; Chief Sonny Ledda, Laurens; Chief Ken Miller, Greenville; Chief Terrence Green, Lexington; and Ryan Alphin, Executive Director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Victim’s Advocacy Groups from around the state were represented by Christan Rainey, Real MAD, Sara Barber, SCCADVASA, and Laura Hudson, South Carolina Crime Victim’s Council.

Legislative leaders present/confirmed to attend included: Speaker of the House Jay Lucas; Rep. Todd Atwater, Rep. Bruce Bannister, Rep. Beth Bernstein, Rep. Kenny Bingham, Rep. Mary Gail Douglas, Rep. Shannon Erickson, Rep. Raye Felder, Rep. Kirkman Finlay, Rep. Ralph Kennedy, Rep. Peter McCoy, Rep. Dennis Moss, Rep. Mike Pitts, Rep. Tommy Pope, Rep. Rick Quinn, Rep. Garry Smith, Rep. James Smith, Rep. Eddie Tallon, Rep. Anne Thayer, Rep. Richie Yow, Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin; Sen. Sean Bennett, Sen. John Courson, Sen. Mike Fair, Sen. Greg Hembree, Sen. Brad Hutto Sen. Thomas McElveen, Sen. Gerald Malloy, Sen. Katrina Shealy, Sen. Ross Turner.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns Public After Weekend Scam

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public of a scam in which an Oconee County business was almost taken for around $1,200.

Deputies responded to the business located on Pickens Highway near Walhalla due to reports that an employee of the business received a call from a female claiming to be from a local utility company asking to speak to a manager.

The manager returned the phone call later on and was told by the female caller that unless the business paid the balance due on their electric bill that the power would be disconnected by the end of the day.

After a conversation with the store owner in which the employee was instructed to pay the bill, the manager called the female caller back. The manager was told by the female caller to go to a nearby store and purchase some pre-paid cards and place the money on those cards.

After purchasing the cards and placing money on them, the manager called the female caller back and provided the pin numbers for the cards. The female called then provided a verification code with the payment.

Sometime later, the manager contacted the Sheriff’s Office believing that a scam had taken place. The customer service department of the prepaid card company advised the responding deputy that the cards had not been used and that the company would deactivate the cards and new cards would be issued back to the store. A call to the local utility company also verified that it was a scam.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that scammers love to use the pre-paid cards and that legitimate businesses will not require payment to be made using these cards. If a company or business contacts you and says that payment is due and can be made using a pre-paid card, hang up the phone and contact that company or business to inquire about the situation.

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

Jason Andrew Tomsha

Jason Andrew Tomsha

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Anderson man on multiple outstanding warrants from multiple cases that occurred in October of last year.

45 year old Jason Andrew Tomsha, whose address on warrants is listed as 3301 Abbeville Highway, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:59 Friday morning after a deputy from the warrants division picked Tomsha up at the Anderson City Jail.

Tomsha has been charged with six counts of 3rd Degree Burglary, 5 counts of Petit Larceny and one count of Malicious Injury to Personal Property in relation to a series of break-ins that occurred at a storage facility on Shiloh Road in Seneca on October 16th. Tomsha is accused of breaking into six storage buildings and stealing multiple items, including coaxial cable, various household items, a computer and jewelry.

Warrants also obtained by deputies charge Tomsha with I.D. Fraud and Shoplifting in relation to an incident that also occurred on October 16th in which, according to warrants, Tomsha took a buggy full of items to the gates of the Lawn and Garden center without paying for them and then used the identification of another person to avoid detection of identification by law enforcement.

Tomsha also had an outstanding General Sessions Bench Warrant as well from March 14th of last year.

Tomsha is being held on a combined $80,000 surety bond at the Detention Center.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help Locating Seneca Man Wanted on Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Anthony Louis McClaflin

Anthony Louis McClaflin

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in their search for a Seneca man wanted on an outstanding Criminal Domestic Violence warrant.

The warrant was obtained on New Year’s Eve against 33 year old Anthony Louis McClaflin, whose address on warrants is listed as 119 Snow Creek Forest Drive, for an incident that occurred on December 30th of last year in which McClaflin is accused of putting his hands on his live-in girlfriend’s face and pushing her backwards.

The warrant states that the incident occurred at the Snow Creek Forest Drive address.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Anthony Louis McClaflin, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. All information relayed to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and confidential and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

2015 Crime Stoppers of Oconee County Golf Tournament Set for April 30th, 2015

Sheriff's Badge

Crimestoppers Logo

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————There is still time for businesses, corporations and individual to get involved in either fielding a team or as a hole sponsor in the upcoming 2015 Crime Stoppers of Oconee County golf tournament which will be held on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at Oconee Country Club in Seneca.

Registration on that day will begin at 10:30am with a 12 noon shotgun start. The format will be 4 man Captain’s Choice. The cost per player is $60.00. There will also be door prizes, a hole-in-one contest, and gift bags for each player. Also, mulligans will be sold the day of the tournament. A dinner will be served at the conclusion of the tournament.

Hole sponsorships are also available at $100 each.

For more information on how to register your team or become a hole sponsor, contact Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, at 864-638-4199 or e-mail Jimmy at jwatt@oconeelaw.com.