College of Charleston cop busted on chop shop charges

Harve By Jacobs  bio | email

He went from college cop to accused criminal. Thirty nine year old James Crawford was forced to pose for a county jail camera after his arrest Thursday night. Police say Crawford operated a motorcycle chop shop at his home on Westview Street in North Charleston.

"I'm sorry to hear that. I really am because he's a nice guy. He helped me out a lot of times," said Crawford's neighbor Edward McBride.

Investigators say Crawford was helping himself to stolen motorcycles and motorcycle parts. Detectives may have never found them if not for one of those LoJack devices that detect stolen items. A North Charleston officer had one in his car when he was riding through Crawford's neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

He got a strong signal from the lowjack that there was a stolen item at the college cop's house. Dispatchers confirmed that it was a motorcycle stolen from Georgia. Officers then found the other stolen motorcycles, engines and other parts in Crawford's garage.

A neighbor who didn't want her face on camera had her own take on the arrest. "We let the devil fool us all the time. The devil is busy. You just gotta learn," she warned.

According to the police report, Crawford told officers he was storing some of the motorcycles for a friend who has had trouble with the law in the past. Now it's Crawford who will be in big trouble, if convicted of the crime.

Crawford has been suspended without pay from the College of Charleston Public Safety Department. He is free on $20,000 bond.

©2009 WCSC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.