Crime & Courts

Suspect arrested in Irmo car break-in

Irmo police have arrested a car break-in suspect who apparently targeted electrical gadgets.

The arrest of Marshall Levi Darden Roop, 19, of 1 Crescent Lane in Irmo, came this morning after a resident called 911 to report an ongoing car break-in on Lake Murray Boulevard.

Irmo police responding apprehended Roop running from the scene, said Irmo Chief Brian Buck.

During the case, Roop dropped a black backpack stuffed with electronic gizmos, Buck said.

The items included 16 satellite GPS systems, five iPods, three satellite radio receivers, digital cameras and loose change, Buck said.

Buck said the gadgets appear to be from other car break-ins.

Irmo Police and the Lexington County Sheriff's Department are following leads in the case.

Anyone with information can call the Irmo Police Department, CrimeStoppers at (888) 559-TIPS or

- John Monk

Fire damages Barloworld Handling

An electrical malfunction in a refrigerator in a break room at Barloworld Handling caused a fire that did $10,000 worth of damage.

Just before 7 a.m. Monday, the Lexington County Fire Service responded to a call from the business, which is located at 3149 Charleston Hwy. in the Cayce-Gaston area.

On arrival, firefighters found that employees in a smoke-filled building were fighting a blaze with fire extinguishers.

Firefighters finished putting the fire out. No one was injured, according to John Hendrix, fire service battalion chief.

Barloworld sells handling equipment, such as fork lifts, and also services the equipment.

- John Monk

Richland County offers security checks

Richland County deputies who patrol Lake Murray on boats now offer free security checks at homes and businesses.

The inspections - a safeguard against break-ins - are free upon request.

Most homes and stores affected are in the Ballentine area.

To sign up, call (803) 576-3000 or go online to

- Tim Flach

79 people die in fires in state last year

The state's fire marshal says 79 people died in fires in South Carolina in 2009, an increase of four deaths from the year before.

John Reich says all but 13 of the deaths happened in homes, with most of the blazes caused by either heating sources, or cooking or smoking materials.

Authorities say there have already been five fire deaths in South Carolina, with all of them occurring Saturday.

Reich says he is concerned there could be more deaths as this week's cold snap and possible wintry weather leads people to find additional ways to heat their homes.

Reich says never leave a space heater or fireplace unattended, make sure all flammable materials are kept at least 3 feet away from a heater and don't use heaters with extension cords.

- The Associated Press

Court to hear motorcycle helmet case

MYRTLE BEACH - The lawsuits against Myrtle Beach over the local helmet law are going to be heard by the S.C. Supreme Court.

The lawsuits against the city and its helmet ordinance are on the court's docket for Feb. 3.

The lawsuit filed by Business Owners Organized to Support Tourism and Bart Viers, and the one filed by a group of motorcyclists who were ticketed during a protest ride on the day the city's helmet law went into effect, will both be heard.

Because the court has received - and presumably read - extensive briefs from all sides explaining their arguments, the hearings are expected to be short.

The plaintiffs are suing the city to stop it from enforcing the motorcycle helmet law it imposed last year as part of a package of ordinances designed to deflect the May motorcycle rallies from the city.

- The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News

Dog rescued from icy water

Firefighters spent more than an hour pulling a dog out of icy water in York County.

The rescue was in a creek near the North Carolina state line.

Dave Yarnes of Fort Mill says a neighbor heard the dog howling and called 911. The dog had apparently fallen down a nearby cliff and got stuck in the water because of the extreme cold.

Fort Mill Rescue and York County Animal Control worked together to rescue the dog. Officers waded into the water and pulled the animal out.

They said the black chow may have been in the water almost 24 hours.

York County Animal Control said the dog was doing well Monday.

- The Charlotte Observer