update 09/08/2016: Accomplice Charged with Accessory Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest of Samuel Henry Green Jr. (DOB: 09/26/1959) charged with accessory after the fact of burglary first degree, two counts of possession of scheduled 2 substances, one count of scheduled 4 substances, possession of certain persons unlawful, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent offense. The Sheriff stated that Green had prior convictions of voluntary manslaughter in South Carolina, and a robbery charge out of New York.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that Green was arrested on Wednesday, September 07, 2016 at 2341 Pendleton Street, 29205 (Sam’s Grocery Store) in connection to burglaries committed by Easterling.
The Sheriff stated that Green took possession of stolen property from Brooks Easterling at Easterling's Joe Louis Drive residence. The Sheriff stated that this incident occurred on Sunday, July 24, 2016, which is the same morning that Easterling broke in to a home in the Woodcreek Farms subdivision in Elgin. The Sheriff added that video surveillance equipment from Easterling's residence, 1136 Joe Louis Drive, 29201 was seized on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 when investigators executed a search warrant at Easterling's home; he was placed under arrest for a burglary that occurred in August of 2015 on Overcreek Road, 29206.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that investigators were able to download video from Easterling’s residence that matched to dates of burglaries which Easterling was linked to. The Sheriff stated that video from Sunday, July 24, 2016 reveals Green entering Easterling's home for a meeting, and conducting an overview/inspection of the stolen items taken from the Woodcreek, 29045 burglary. The Sheriff added that the video shows at the conclusion of the meeting between Easterling and Green -- Green is shown departing the residence with a pillow case full of stolen jewelry.
The Sheriff stated that search warrants were obtained for three locations linked to Green: Sam's Grocery located at 2341 Pendleton Street, 29205 an adjacent residence, 2337 Pendleton Street, 29205 and a residence located at 14 Ambrose Circle, 29210. On Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators served those warrants and made seizures of large amounts of jewelry, and other property believed to have come from burglaries. The Sheriff stated that additional charges are anticipated as the recovered jewelry is identified by potential owners.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest of Brooks Easterling (DOB: 07/02/1981) charged with 17 counts of burglary and 17 counts of larceny in Richland County, he’s responsible for 34.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 1136 Joe Louis Drive, 29201 Easterling was arrested by Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators. The Sheriff stated that Easterling was identified by DNA left at the scene of a burglary, which was analyzed by Richland County Sheriff’s Department Forensic Lab.
The Sheriff stated that Easterling was arrested for a burglary that he committed on August 16, 2015 on Overcreek Drive, in the Rockbridge area of Richland County; forensic testing from the burglary resulted in investigators identifying Easterling as the person responsible. The Sheriff added that Easterling is a career criminal, with at least two prior convictions for burglary. A search of Easterling's residence recovered nearly 200 items stolen from at least 16 burglaries in Richland County, Forest Acres, and City of Columbia jurisdictions; numerous electronic items, I-pads, and lap tops were also recovered in the search.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that Easterling committed burglaries in the Lake Katherine area, Trenholm Road corridor, Rockbridge, Wildewood, and Woodcreek Farms areas. The Sheriff stated that all of the burglaries matched the Overcreek Drive case. The Sheriff added that the similar circumstances of the burglaries involved targeting victims who were typically out of town on the weekends, stealing expensive jewelry, small electronics, and handguns. Easterling would break in to the homes using the rear entrance, often times breaking the master bedroom window to gain access.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that in addition to the burglaries, Easterling also committed 30 automobile break-ins. Richland County investigators recovered at least 20 South Carolina drivers licenses, ID's, and credit cards from various victims of those car break-ins from Rock Hill, Sumter, Florence, Garden City, Forest Acres, Columbia, and Richland County. Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators continue to focus on Easterling's activities and acquaintances in order to further the investigation, and additional charges could be forthcoming for all who may have been involved.
The Sheriff stated that the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab is recognized as one of best in the county, with skilled and highly-trained Crime Scene investigators who collected evidence left at the scene, and our professional and motivated forensic scientists with access to cutting edge technology identified Brooks Easterling’s DNA. The value of the forensic professionals, and the tools and training at their disposal, cannot be understated in this case. They were the key in solving this crime and bringing resolution to the families of the victims.
Sheriff Leon Lott states that Easterling was arrested and remains in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. His bond has been denied in General Sessions Court at a hearing which was held on Thursday July 28th.
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