Lowcountry officials arrest man, woman for grand larceny

Lowcountry officials arrest man, woman for grand larceny
(L to R: Bell, Weatherford) (Source: Beaufort County Sheriff's Office)

OKATIE, SC (WTOC) - Officials in the Lowcountry have arrested a man and a woman on grand larceny charges.

Authorities say a trailer containing air conditioning equipment was stolen from the construction site of the new Beaufort County Animal Shelter in Okatie on April 17. Two suspects, a man and a woman, were caught on video surveillance hooking the trailer up to a pickup truck and driving off. Animal shelter employees reported the theft, and Beaufort County sheriff's deputies and the owner of the trailer posted segments of the video and still photographs of the two on social media.

Officials received tips on the identifies of the pair - 28-year-old Jeffrey Weatherford and 28-year-old Jamie Bell - last Friday. A tip also revealed that the two might be found at their place of employment in Colleton County. Investigators contacted the Colleton County Sheriff's Office, which was familiar with Bell's workplace, and responded there, where they made contact with both suspects. The two admitted to being responsible for the theft and advised the stolen trailer was in the backyard at a home belonging to one of Weatherford's relatives in Orangeburg County.

Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office deputies were contacted by BCSO and advised of the location of the stolen trailer. OCSO deputies responded to that home where they found the trailer. The owner was contacted and took possession of his trailer and the contents. Bell and Weatherford were not immediately charged in the theft of the trailer.

BCSO investigators met with a Beaufort County magistrate on Monday and obtained arrest warrants for grand larceny (more than $10,000) for Bell and Weatherford for the theft of the trailer containing the air conditioning equipment, which was valued at $11,000 total.

Colleton County deputies arrested the pair around noon on Tuesday at Bell's workplace. They were transported to the Colleton County Detention Center. Once they are in the custody of BCSO, they will be transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center where they will be served with the arrest warrants and incarcerated.

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