Suspect charged in home invasion, theft of 96-year old Cottageville man’s wallet

Suspect charged in home invasion, theft of 96-year old Cottageville man’s wallet

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Walterboro man has been arrested for breaking into the home of a 96-year old Cottageville man and taking his wallet.

On Monday afternoon, Colleton County deputies arrested 58-year old Baby Ray Culbreath.

Cottageville police say Culbreath kicked in a door to get inside Joe Ben Ackerman’s home on Nov. 28. Ackerman says this all started on Nov. 25 when Culbreath came to his home for the first time.

The elderly man says he thought the suspect actually was his pest control man.

“He said he was broke down. I believe he said he needed money,” Ackerman recalled.

Ackerman says Culbreath asked for $250 to pay a tow truck driver.

“He said,'I will bring the money back in two hours,'” the elderly man recalled.

The 96-year old says Culbreath returned the next morning and said his aunt has $500 to pay him back.

“He wondered if I had $250 to give her for change. I said,'No, I don’t want to do it like that. Get me the money,'” Ackerman said.

Police say two days later, Culbreath came back to the house for a third time, this time kicking in the elderly man’s door while he was asleep.

“When I woke up, the light was on. I was thinking about how brazen he’d get you know?” Ackerman said.

Ackerman says Culbreath took his wallet out of a dresser drawer and left.

On Monday afternoon, following a brief pursuit, Colleton County deputies arrested Culbreath in Walterboro. The crime has left a bad taste in the mouth of the town’s mayor.

“Angry. I’m still angry. I don’t like people that steal of course. But I especially don’t like people to take advantage of elderly people,” Mayor Timothy Grimsley said

"It upsets me, this kind of stuff doesn't happen in our town," Cottageville Police Major Chris Lovelace said.

Baby Ray Culbreath has a criminal record that goes back 41 years. His rap sheet includes several trips to prison and an escape from a county jail.

Baby Ray Culbreath has a criminal record that goes back 41 years.

His rap sheet includes several trips to prison and an escape from a county jail.

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