Police have arrested a third person in connection with a series of nighttime home invasions and vehicle break-ins that happened in the downtown Aiken area last week.
Willie Maurice Franklin, 23, of Aiken, was arrested Monday morning and charged with trespassing after notice, criminal conspiracy and accessory after the fact, according to a statement from the Aiken Department of Public Safety. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center.
On Wednesday afternoon, 22-year-old Tremayne Deshawn Crawford was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary. He also had outstanding warrants for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
Demarques Tremall Jamison, 20, of Aiken, turned himself in to officers on Friday and was charged with criminal conspiracy and accessory after the fact.
All three men remain incarcerated. Cpl. Jeremy Hembree, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety, said the investigation is ongoing.
Officers responded to a burglar alarm on Newberry Street at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and saw a man fleeing the area on foot, police said.
A perimeter was set up in the area, and officers discovered that other homes nearby had been broken into. They also discovered that a handgun had been taken from one of the homes.
The suspects had burglarized four homes – all of which were occupied by residents sleeping in other areas of the home – and 12 vehicles, police said. At each location, the suspect reportedly entered the home through an unlocked or unsecured door.
A resident called 911 a short time later and said a subject was inside their home on the 200 block of Lancaster Street. The caller said the subject fled on foot.
An additional search perimeter was set up, and the Aiken County Bloodhound Tracking Team and a helicopter from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division were brought in to assist in the search.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.