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Report: Man out on bond leads concerned citizen on jet ski chase during series of crimes

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested 32-year-old Corey Auger of Hilton Head Island who...
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested 32-year-old Corey Auger of Hilton Head Island who was given a $100,000 bond for 11 charges including eight counts of receiving stolen goods.(BCSO)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:51 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Investigators say a man out on bond led a concerned citizen on a jet ski during a series of crimes in Beaufort County.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested 32-year-old Corey Auger of Hilton Head Island who was given a $100,000 bond for 11 charges including eight counts of receiving stolen goods. Authorities say more charges are pending.

At the time of his arrest on Tuesday, Auger was out on bond for illegal drug charges.

Auger was arrested following a months-long investigation and the help of county citizens, according to the sheriff’s office. The investigation involved multiple stolen items including three motorcycles, two utility vehicles, two jet skis, a scooter, a tricycle, a golf cart, high-end dinnerware, and a revolver.

According to deputies, during the theft of the jet skis, a resident in the Point Comfort area saw Auger on a jet ski towing two other jet skis on Broad Creek. The resident said he sensed something suspicious, got in his boat and followed Auger. The report stated as they traveled toward Daufuskie Island, the resident reported that the suspect cut the tow line to the two jet skis and fled.

The resident said he lost sight of the man but was able to recover the two jet skis and bring them to Palmetto Bay Marina. Investigators determined one of the jet skis was reported stolen from a business parking lot near Indigo Run while the other was stolen from a dock on Brams Point.

“It was also learned that the subject riding the Jet Ski may have been at Palmetto Bay Marina the previous day on the Jet Ski that had been stolen near Indigo Run,” BCSO officials said. “Investigators interviewed witnesses, reviewed footage from video surveillance and identified the subject on the Jet Ski as Corey Auger.”

Investigators released the following additional information on crimes they say were linked to Auger:

  • “On June 29, deputies received a tip that a U-Haul parked on Squire Pope Road contained stolen property. Inside the U-Haul, investigators found two motorcycles, a portable cement mixer, cabinetry, irrigation supplies, tires and miscellaneous tools. Investigators contacted the owner of the motorcycles and learned they had been stored in a storage unit. It was discovered that two of the storage facility’s units had had their locks cut off. One of those units was where the motorcycles had been stored. The other unit had contained most of the remaining property recovered from the U-Haul. Through interviews, investigators developed 32-year-old Corey Auger of Bluffton as a person of interest.”
  • “Last month, a burglary was reported on St. Helena Island, in which a scooter and other items were stolen. Sheriff’s Office investigators received information that, again, Corey Auger was involved. "
  • “On Aug. 23, investigators attempted to locate an associate of Auger at a residence on Bonaire Circle in Burton. While there, investigators found a scooter in the yard and confirmed it as the stolen scooter from St. Helena.”
  • “Between August 23 and August 25, investigators served search warrants on the Bonaire Circle residence and its property. There, they recovered additional items that had been taken in the St. Helena burglary, as well as numerous items believed to have been stolen in other incidents.”
  • “On Aug. 25, after connecting the property stolen in the St. Helena burglary to Auger, investigators met with a Beaufort County magistrate and obtained an arrest warrant for Auger for Receiving Stolen Goods. Also that day, Auger, who at the time was incarcerated at the Beaufort County Detention Center on unrelated charges from the Town of Port Royal Police Department, was served with the arrest warrant. A bond hearing was held in Magistrate’s Court on August 26 and Auger was released on his own recognizance.”
  • “In the days that followed, investigators researched the origins of the property recovered from Bonaire Circle. Investigators traced several household items, including high-end dinnerware, to a Hilton Head Island woman who had stored the items in a unit at 3 Cardinal Court — the same storage facility from where the items found on the U-Haul in June had been stolen. Like the owners of those two units, the woman was unaware her storage unit had been burglarized.”
  • “Additionally, investigators traced a motorcycle that had been recovered at Bonaire Circle to yet another unit at 3 Cardinal Court. Investigators again met with representatives of the storage facility and again discovered two more units with their locks cut off.”
  • “On Sept. 3, several storage units on Yacht Cove Drive on Hilton Head were broken into and various items, including a revolver, were stolen. On the morning of Sept. 5, employees of Palmetto Dunes reported that they found an abandoned Bobcat utility vehicle stuck in the dunes near the golf course Later that morning, employees of Port Royal golf maintenance reported that a Bobcat utility vehicle and trailer had been stolen; the stolen Bobcat was the one found earlier in Palmetto Dunes.”
  • “Also on September 5, employees of Shelter Cove Marina reported that an Atlas Transit tricycle and a utility golf cart had been stolen sometime overnight.”
  • “On September 6, employees of the Greenery reported that a Kubota utility vehicle equipped with a GPS and trailer were stolen from their parking lot. Through its GPS, the Kubota was tracked behind the Fresh Market Shoppes, where deputies found Corey Auger with the stolen Kubota. When deputies attempted to apprehend Auger, he ran and escaped through an opening in the chain link fence behind the shops. In the Kubota, deputies found that Auger had left behind burglary tools and methamphetamine.”
  • “On September 7, two Shelter Cove Marina employees familiar with the September 5 theft of the Atlas Transit tricycle observed the tricycle in the parking lot of 10 Yacht Cove Drive. The employees saw a male subject unloading items from the basket of the tricycle and walking into a residence. The employees called dispatch for Sheriff’s Office deputies to respond. As deputies responded, one of the employees knocked on the door of the residence, while the other walked around the back. When the employee got to the back of the residence, he encountered Corey Auger outside and a struggle ensued. The employees were able to subdue Auger, until deputies arrived. Deputies took Auger into custody on the seven arrest warrants and recovered the Atlas Transit tricycle. Following his arrest, Auger was interviewed by investigators regarding the burglaries and thefts.”

Investigators said information provided by Auger led investigators to the locations and recoveries of additional stolen property.

“On Hilton Head, the trailer stolen from the Greenery was recovered behind the Red Roof Inn, the utility golf cart stolen from the Shelter Cove Marina was found behind the Days Inn and items stolen from the storage units at 5 Yacht Cove Drive, including the revolver, were recovered at the 10 Yacht Cove Drive residence where Auger had been arrested on September 7,” BCSO officials said.

Near Gascoigne Bluff in Bluffton, investigators recovered the other Jet Ski stolen from the Brams Point dock. Following his interview, Auger was transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center and incarcerated.

The sheriff’s office said after Auger’s arrest on September 7, Sheriff’s Office investigators met with a magistrate and obtained additional warrants for his arrest for Receiving Stolen Goods on items recovered on Bonaire Circle in Burton in connection with the following incidents:

  • A golf cart that was reported stolen on August 11 from Mallard Street, Hilton Head
  • The motorcycle that had been stolen from a storage unit on 3 Cardinal Court, Hilton Head, between the end of June and August
  • The high-end dinnerware and other household items stolen from a storage unit on 3 Cardinal Court, Hilton Head, between the end of June and August
  • An enclosed utility trailer that had been stolen from Jasper County

Investigators said they will also be seeking warrants for Auger in connection with this past weekend’s numerous thefts and recovered items on Hilton Head, which include:

  • The revolver and other items reported stolen from the storage facility at 5 Yacht Cove Drive
  • The Kubota utility vehicle and trailer stolen from the Greenery
  • The Bobcat and trailer stolen from Port Royal Golf Maintenance
  • The golf cart and Atlas Transit tricycle stolen from Shelter Cove Marina

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