North Augusta student detained for bomb threat

A North Augusta High School student was detained after a teacher turned over his journal in which he reportedly made a bomb threat against the school, according to the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.


Kyle Becnel was charged with threatening the use of an explosive device of mass destruction for the purpose of terrorism. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center.


Becnel, a senior at North Augusta High School, has to keep a journal as part of the curriculum, according to Lt. Tim Thornton, a spokesman for North Augusta Public Safety. Sometimes the teacher would give a writing prompt, while other times the students could write freely.


“He made a reference in his journal entry that he wanted to blow up the school and that he was going to commit suicide,” Thornton said. The teacher saw the entry and informed the school resource officer.


Becnel was removed from school and brought to police headquarters, where he was interrogated, according to Thornton.


“His position is he wasn’t being serious and he never had any intent of following through with his threats to blow up the school,” Thornton said. “You can’t make comments like that and have them ignored by the school and law enforcement.”


Officers searched Becnel’s bedroom and his locker at school and found no evidence that he would follow through with the threats, according to Thornton. He added that no other students were believed to be involved, and that the school students were never in danger.


Sheriff’s office investigates armed store robbery

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Wednesday armed robbery of a Graniteville store.


The incident happened just after 8 p.m. at the K&M Food Store on Ascauga Lake Road in Graniteville, according to a sheriff’s report. The owner of the store was working behind the cash register when the suspect entered and approached the counter.


The suspect lifted the left side of his jacket, presented a handgun and demanded money, the report stated. The store owner opened the register and gave about $300 to the suspect, who fled out the front door and headed toward Rainbow Falls Road.


Officers found tire tracks on Rainbow Falls Road indicating that the suspect left in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a black male, 5-foot-3 and medium build. He was wearing a camouflage jacket and dark sunglasses.


No arrests have been made as of Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 803-648-6811, or CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC.


NADPS looking for counterfeit check writers

The North Augusta Department of Public Safety is seeking the public’s help to identify the man and woman pictured above.


On Sept. 29 at about 3 p.m., the man wrote a counterfeit check at Publix on Martintown Road in North Augusta for about $366 to purchase gift cards, police said.


Anyone with information on the identity of the man or woman is asked to call the North Augusta Department of Public Safety at 803-279-2121.