Trio accused of Lexington County shoplifting conspiracy

dprice@thestate.comJuly 1, 2013 

— Three people from Columbia have been arrested in connection with a shoplifting ring at the Sportsman’s Warehouse near Irmo, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

Thomas Ryan Melton, 28, Edwina Marie Evans, 54, and Kim Ineze Evans, 51, were all arrested on shoplifting and criminal conspiracy charges.

The trio are accused of stealing camping, fishing and hunting equipment from the Piney Grove Road store before bringing them back for a refund.

All three are being held at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting bond hearings, according to Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.

Police started investigating the ring Saturday when an employee at the sporting goods store told officers he suspected Edwina Evans stole fly fishing line and hooks that day. The suspect’s sister, Kim Evans was accused of later returning the items for a store gift card and also of stealing turkey calls from the store. Melton was thought to have been the getaway driver in Saturday’s shoplifting.

Melton is also accused of stealing camping, fishing and hunting equipment worth a combined $126.22 from the store on June 21. The suspect similarly returned the items for a store gift card, Metts said.

Melton was arrested Sunday at a Decker Boulevard business, Metts said. The Evans sisters were arrested at their apartment Monday.

Deputies are investigating whether anyone else might have been involved in the ring and are asking anyone who knows about shoplifting at the store to contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or www.sccrimestoppers.com.

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