MARION, SC (WMBF) – After one man's apartment was broken in to twice in one day, he is now the victim of six burglaries in less than a year.
An incident report filed at the Marion Police Department said someone broke into Darriel Johnson's apartment for the fifth time around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. The burglar kicked in the front door and exited through the back door.
He's now without a DVD player, an iron, a portable radio and various food items, amongst other assorted items.
Johnson said he was returning home from work and saw the burglar riding down the street on a bike down with his belongings. The incident report filed, however, did not name a suspect.
While investigating a second burglary at another location that afternoon, Lt. Farmer Blue of the Marion Police Department found Timothy Scott, 18, to be a suspect. Upon searching his backpack and a trash bag he had with him, he discovered items that had been stolen from Johnson's apartment that morning.
The items had been already been returned to Johnson's apartment after police found them in trash bags dumped near Johnson's apartment when called to the early morning break-in.
The fingerprint powder found on several of the items in Scott's possession signaled to Blue that Johnson's apartment had been burglarized a second time.
Police arrested the 18-year-old around 3 p.m. for breaking into Johnson's apartment that afternoon.
In a second incident report filed by Marion Police, Scott admitted to participating in the early morning burglary at Johnson's apartment. The report also said he was accompanied by two of his friends.
Scott now faces two charges of burglary. He will have a bond hearing Wednesday morning at the Marion Police Department.
"It didn't bother me the first time," Johnson said, in reference to the first burglary that occurred at his apartment.
He is the only person currently living in the apartment building at 308 Jones Ave.
Residents who previously lived there had also experienced break–ins and eventually moved out.
"I don't know why, I should've been left," Johnson said. "Everybody was telling me 'You should've been left.'"
Blue said criminals are getting smarter. Thus, it is important for people to be aware of their surroundings.
"Report when you see a crime happening," he said. "Let us know when something is going on because you never know when it's going to be done to you."
The lieutenant also suggested investing in door and window alarms, and leaving the lights on when away from home. He also advises varying the times you enter and leave, so burglars cannot predict when someone is away from home.
Police have not confirmed if Scott is responsible for the first four break-ins at Johnson's apartment. However, the investigations are ongoing and police says he is a suspect.
Blue said Marion Police will increase the number of patrol units in Johnson's neighborhood. They will also improve the lighting on those streets in an effort to decrease the number of break-ins.
"I'm not going to plan to be here anyway much longer," Johnson said.
He says he is already looking for a new apartment and hopes to move out of his current one soon.