Fla. man arrested in string of thefts at SC Walmart stores - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fla. man arrested in SC Walmart thefts

Brian Williams (Source: Camden Co. Sheriff's Office) Brian Williams (Source: Camden Co. Sheriff's Office)

A Florida man is charged with theft in connection with more than $10,000 worth of stolen items from several Walmart stores in the Lowcountry.

A Dodge Charger was pulled over at about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 95 at Exit 7 in Camden County for an improper lane change. The officer asked for permission to search the car after noticing the driver's nervousness and inconsistent stories from him and his passenger, according to the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

Brian O'Neal Williams, 36, of Green Cove Springs, Fla., refused the search, and the Sgt. Cedric Brown and his K-9 walked around the car. The dog picked up a scent and the car was searched.

Deputies found small traces of marijuana and two plastic bins filled with items such as 5 Hour Energy, Nicorette Lozenges and Gum, Gillette razors, Mucinex, Claritin, Zantac, Crest White Strips, Prevacid, Olay Skin Cream, Phillips Sonicare toothbrushes, a 16-piece China set, pet clippers and a 31-pound bag of dog food, according to the sheriff's office.

Williams told the deputy he bought the items from a flea market on Lane Avenue in Jacksonville.

The passenger told deputies that Williams may have stolen the items from Walmarts in South Carolina, according the sheriff's office.

The deputies checked the GPS unit in the Charger and a store on Centre Point Drive in Charleston came up. The store was contacted.  A loss prevention specialist said they would check the store's video security system.

Williams was left to go on his way. Just after he left the traffic stop, deputies got a message on their cell phone of photos of Williams in the Walmart store and confirmation of the theft of a large number of items, according to the sheriff's office.

Woolard pulled Williams over and he was put under arrest.

On Jan. 30, Nikki Bishop, from Walmart, picked up the stolen items from the Camden County Substation. She ran the stolen merchandise through her scanner at Walmart and it totaled $10,780.52.

Bishop said their investigation found that Williams tried to steal items at six different Walmart stores in South Carolina.

Williams began at around 12 a.m. Jan.  29 at Buford, then he went to Hardeeville, Walterboro, Summerville, and two stores in North Charleston, according to the sheriff's office. He stole the items by placing them in the plastic containers then purchasing the containers at the self checkout cash registers, according to the sheriff's office.

Investigators said they believe he picked up the passenger after the thefts and headed toward Florida.

The passenger is not a suspect and was not arrested, according to CCSO.

Williams is in custody at the Camden County Jail. He's charged with theft by bringing stolen property into the state.

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