RICHLAND COUNTY — The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has charged five males in a string of more than 70 vehicle break-ins this summer across Columbia, Richland County and Lexington County.
Sheriff Leon Lott said all five are affiliated with gangs and face the following charges: Donald Wittich Jr., 22, two counts of malicious injury to property and four counts of larceny; Anthony Canada, 23, two counts of malicious injury to property, three counts of larceny, and damaging or tampering with a vehicle; Corey Anderson, 25, two counts of malicious injury to property and two counts of larceny; Dwayne Burgess, 26, two counts of malicious injury to property and two counts of larceny; and a 16-year-old charged with two counts of malicious injury to property and two counts of larceny.
This summer, 71 Dodge and Chrysler vehicles were broken into the Broad River Road, Harbison Boulevard and Dentsville areas, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department. Dodge Challengers, Magnums, Avengers and Chrysler 300s were targeted by suspects, who entered the vehicle by damaging the driver’s side door and forcing entry.
One of the items stolen may have been used in a September shooting that killed Amanda F. McKemie, 22, of Gaston. Deante Dominic-Ali Wittich, 16, was charged in the murder by the Columbia Police Department and is the juvenile charged in the vehicle break-ins.
Deputies with the RCSD and the Fugitive Task Force identified the suspects with surveillance equipment and leads. Burgess and Anderson are being held in Georgia on other charges and will be transported back to Richland County.
Lott reminds residents to lock vehicles and keep valuables out of plain sight.