POLKTON — Officers from several counties helped to put suspected South Carolina robbers behind bars following a traffic enforcement campaign on April 18.
The suspects allegedly began tossing evidence, including “digital scales, tin foil, (and) a marijuana smoking device” out of the vehicle windows while they drove away, leading the officers in a chase into Darlington County, South Carolina, where they were caught, according to a release from the Polkton Police Department. The evidence included a “large amount” of a controlled substance, “drug paraphernalia, two handguns (one of which was stolen), and items that were taken from the home invasion/armed robbery, which included one of the victim’s personal identification.”
Police say the robbery had taken place in Union County, and the suspects were heading home to Hartsville, South Carolina following the robbery when they came across officers.
The stolen handgun was not taken during the Union County robbery, but was stolen in Darlington County, police say.
The Polkton department did not have the full names of the suspects available, but said that all three were in the Chesterfield County Jail pending charges as of April 22.
“This operation was a huge success and would not have happened without the cooperation of each agency involved,” the Polkton Police Department said in a release. “People complain sometimes about us holding such events in and around this county and in other counties, however, this is why we hold such events. We are out there attempting to provide safer highways for the citizens in our neighborhoods, catch criminals while they are in the process of going to/leaving crime scenes, etc.”
The department said that while motorists may not like getting stopped, it’s a critical part of increasing safety.
“We do not enjoy writing someone a ticket for whatever reason that they were stopped, but it is a must for us to be able to provide safer roadways for our citizens to travel upon,” the release said. “During such operations, it is not uncommon to stop vehicles for minor traffic offenses and locate wanted people, stolen property, drug violations, etc. These operations provide desirable outcomes for the jurisdictions that they are performed in. They provide safer roadways, provide a better sense of police presence for the citizens of the community, and allow for smaller departments such as the Polkton Police Department to have more officers at their disposal for the duration of the operation to conduct multiple license, child restraint, and educational checkpoints in addition to stopping more of the traffic violations that are occurring on a daily basis in the community being worked.”
Pinehurst Police Department, Lilesville Police Department, Candor Police Department, the Anson County Sheriff’s Office, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, and the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the traffic enforcement campaign, which was under the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.