'Ceiling burglar' accused in another burglary attempt
A man who was found hiding in the ceiling of an Aiken County office on Wednesday was allegedly shot at by a homeowner in a burglary attempt earlier in the week, according to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
Aiken Public Safety officers found 21-year-old Charles Blair IV hiding in the ceiling of the Department of Juvenile Justice office in Kalmia Plaza on Wednesday morning.
Staff had been working in the building for some time Wednesday morning before police told them the burglar was right above their heads, police said. Blair was charged with second-degree burglary and placed in the Aiken County detention center, where he remained on Friday afternoon.
Investigators with the Sheriff's Office have since tied Blair to another burglary incident earlier this week, according to Capt. Eric Abdullah.
Just after midnight on Wednesday morning, a 76-year-old homeowner on Edisto Avenue was awakened by someone breaking a window in the front of his home, according to a sheriff's report. He went downstairs and saw someone reaching through the window to unlock the door.
The homeowner got his gun and fired a single shot at the suspect, the report stated. He believed the bullet struck the suspect in the right hand because he saw the suspect's right hand bleeding.
The man's vehicle had also been broken into, and officers reportedly found blood inside the vehicle.
An Aiken County Constable said in a previous report that Blair broke through the window at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday and told police he was somehow “locked in the building.” However, the attempted burglary on Edisto Avenue happened just after midnight on Wednesday morning.
A spokesman for Aiken Public Safety said the report made no mention of Blair entering the Kalmia Plaza building on Tuesday evening.
Abdullah said investigators have confirmed Blair tried to break into the Edisto Avenue home and have sufficient probable cause.
Blair has been charged with first-degree burglary, attempted robbery and breaking and entering an automobile.
He had no gunshot injuries when officers arrested him at Kalmia Plaza on Wednesday, according to the reports
“We had an incident on Edisto Avenue which we did respond to and investigate,” Abdullah said. “It just so happens that he is the same suspect in the incident at Kalmia Plaza.”
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.