Possible shoplifting leads to drug arrests
What started as a response to a possible shoplifting in progress ended up in three drug-related arrests over the weekend.
Scott Michael Smith, 28, of Belvedere, Jerrold Swearingen, 48, of Aiken, and Billie Huckaby, 27, of Belvedere, were each charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia on Sunday, according to a police report. Smith was also charged with driving under suspension.
Aiken Department of Public Safety officers responded to a call on Sunday from a loss prevention employee of Walmart on Whiskey Road regarding possible shoplifting suspects.
Police caught up with the suspect vehicle, which was pulled over at an old gas station parking lot on Howlandville and Pine Log roads.
Loss prevention believed the suspects took a cordless drill and converter box, the report read. The responding officer told the driver, who was identified as Smith, why they were stopped, and he responded that they didn’t take anything but allowed police to search the vehicle.
At that time, when searching to assure there were no weapons on them, police found what Swearingen confirmed to be methamphetamine in his pocket, the report read. A short blue straw with residue of the drug was also found on him, according to the report.
As the vehicle was searched, more blue straws containing the same substance were inside a cigarette pack found in between the front passenger seat and arm rest. It was the same kind of cigarettes that Huckaby identified as hers that were sitting with her purse on the front seat, according to the report. Another straw was located in the front passenger side door where Huckaby was sitting, according to the report. A small bag of the substance was also found stuffed inside the cigarette pack.
A box was also found under the driver’s seat that read “Scott’s Box. Do not touch! Open will blow up,” the report read. Inside the box were more blue straws containing residue of the drug. The box also held another bag of the substance which was identified as methamphetamine, the report read.
Officers found a small dog in the vehicle, which was placed in the care of ADPS animal control, the report read.
Later, police received a call from Walmart’s loss prevention employee, who stated the boxes of the missing items were recovered which included the drill, the converter box and a knife set. The employee said they witnessed the suspects cutting open the box. The employee confronted the suspects and they put the items down, but it was unknown if they later concealed the merchandise and walked out.
None of those items were found in the vehicle when it was searched, so no shoplifting charges will be filed at this time, according to the report.