MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say a man's discovery of a teenager's wallet in his yard led to the arrest of three teens and a juvenile accused of multiple car break-ins in a Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department arrested 17-year-old Dustin Jay Poole, 18-year-old Thomas Michael Hansen, 18-year-old Jesse Evan Hawfield and a juvenile.
It all started on May 17, when a man found a wallet on Post Oak Drive which he thought may belong to his neighbor. The neighbor then discovered several checks inside belonging to her friend who told police the checks were hers and were stolen from her mailbox.
A police report states that a SC beginner's driver's permit belonging to Poole was found in the wallet as well.
On May 29, an officer was able to get Poole's phone number and contact him. Police say when an officer told Poole that he had his wallet and he needed to come to the station, Poole told the officer he could have the wallet.
The officer then told Poole that he needed to come to the station in reference to items that were found in his wallet. Poole then agreed to come to the station where he was informed of his Miranda rights and questioned.
According to investigators, when authorities told Poole they found four checks in his wallet that didn't belong to him, Poole denied taking the checks.
An incident report states Poole then changed his story and said he was walking in the neighborhood one night and saw the victim's flag up on her mailbox. Poole said he took three letters out and kept the checks that were in the letters.
On May 30, police say they then questioned Poole regarding car break-ins in the area. Poole then told investigators that he, Hansen and Hawfield had broken into over 20 vehicles in various subdivisions on Whipple Road.
Investigators say Poole then directed authorities to a wooded area near Belle Hall Apartments on Belle Point Drive where he and the other suspects were staying. Officers reported finding a tent and several pieces of property inside believed to be stolen from car break-ins in the area.
On June 3, police then responded to Belle Halle Apartments in reference to trespassers in the woods.
A police report states when the two suspects, one of them later identified as Poole, saw the police in the woods, they ran. Officers say following a foot pursuit, they but were able to locate Poole who said he had returned to the campsite to retrieve a stolen gun because "he was concerned about a gun being out on the street."
Authorities say Hawfield, Hansen and a juvenile were arrested on May 30 in connection to the car break-ins following an investigation into another car break-in on King Street.
In this case, the 32-year-old victim said he believed that his next door neighbor's son and his friends may be involved in the theft.
A police report states Hawfield and Hansen were located in the bedroom and the juvenile was in the bathroom. In the bedroom, officers say they discovered a bong pipe, two glass pipes, a silver grinder and two small burnt marijuana cigarettes.
Police say they also found several brands of sunglasses, multiple iPods and a wallet containing money.
The juvenile told police that he hid his wallet underneath the bathroom sink when officers arrived since he had "some weed" in it. According to a police report, officers found the 32-year-old victim's money in the wallet the juvenile had hid.