Richland County deputies arrested a man they say was an accomplice to an alleged serial burglar who was charged last month.
Deputies arrested Samuel Henry Green Jr., 56, on Wednesday at Sam’s Grocery Store on Pendleton Street. They believe he worked with Brooks Easterling, 35, in a string of thefts. Easterling was arrested after DNA analysis indicated he stole from cars and homes, according to the sheriff’s department.
Green is charged with accessory after the fact of burglary first degree, two counts of possession of Schedule II substances, one count of Schedule IV substances, possession of certain persons unlawful and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent offense, according to the sheriff’s department.
Some of the items stolen include an M1 carbine rifle and a bible from the 1800, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said. Some other items investigators recovered include jewelry, electronics and historic swords and firearms. The sheriff’s department is asking for help from anyone who might recognize the items, in hopes of returning them to their owners.
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The thefts ranged from Rock Hill to Myrtle Beach, Lott said. Investigators have identified break-ins that go back to 2014 as being connected with these men, Lott said – but have also found break-ins going back as far as 2006 that use the same methods.
The sheriff said that Green took possession of stolen property July 24 from Easterling at Easterling's home on Joe Louis Drive. That’s the same day investigators believe Easterling broke into a home in the Woodcreek Farms subdivision in Elgin.
Deputies were able to download video footage from surveillance equipment at Easterling’s home. Officials said the footage showed the two men meeting, with Green inspecting stolen property and leaving the home pillow case full of stolen jewelry.
The sheriff’s department previously reported a search of Easterling’s home yielded about 200 stolen items from about 17 burglaries in Richland County, Forest Acres and City of Columbia jurisdictions.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook described the two suspects as “career criminals.”
Lott said deputies are working with Columbia police and Forest Acres police to see if the two men are responsible for other crimes in the Midlands.
The sheriff also said other arrests in connection to the burglaries are likely.
“There’s probably going to be other people going to jail,” he said
Law enforcement continues to investigate these incidents.