Man in ankle bracelet arrested for series of car break-ins

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A man, still wearing a parole ankle monitor, has been charged with five counts of larceny after investigators said he was caught on surveillance camera.

On the morning of Tuesday May 5, several residents in the Ruffin area of Colleton County reported vehicles burglarized, leading to stolen firearms and other valuable items. That same morning, a Colleton County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle was also broken into — a department-issued firearm and several pieces of law enforcement equipment were taken during the break-in.

Colleton County investigators noted the auto break-ins followed the same patterns as previous auto break-ins, dating as far back as January 2020.

Investigators had a person of interest in the previous cases based on investigations and crime analytics. Surveillance footage from one of the May 5 victim’s homes confirmed that information. The video captures the person of interest red-handed, breaking into a victim’s vehicle.

Surveillance and a search warrant led investigators to recover all of the items stolen on May 5, as well as additional property that is being processed.

Colleton County investigators identified the offender as Dre’ Quan Ramon Stephens. Since January, Stephens has been on supervised release with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and wearing an ankle monitor. Currently, GPS data is being compared to the crime data to determine if Stephens is the offender in similar pending cases.

To date, Stephens is charged with five counts of larceny from a motor vehicle. Currently, investigators have linked Stephens as the offender in four additional cases, but Stephens could be facing charges in as many as 24 cases when the investigation is complete.

This investigation remains open and active. Therefore, additional information is limited at this time.

If you observe something suspicious, please call the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211. If there’s an emergency, always call 9-1-1.

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