On April 28, 2017, someone stole a utility trailer from a homeowner on Highway 121 in the Silverstreet section of Newberry County. What they did not know is that the trailer had been stolen once before, but recovered by law enforcement; so the homeowner now had a trail camera on the trailer. The camera did its job and captured the photographs of the subjects who took the trailer, as well as the vehicle they were driving.
Once investigators got the pictures, they realized they needed assistance in identifying the suspects and the vehicle, so they distributed the pictures to all of the deputies at the Sheriff’s Office for help. Within a short time of sending out the information by email, one of the deputies, who was off duty, immediately recognized the suspect and vehicle from a public safety check point several days before. He responded with this information to the investigator, and within a matter of hours the suspect was identified and confessed to the crime.
“I commend the homeowner for purchasing and using the trail camera,” said Sheriff Lee Foster. “In today’s world of technology, these cameras have become affordable to most people, they are easily hidden, and deliver high quality pictures through motion activation. I know of several cases that have been solved dramatically faster because of such cameras, and the reality is in today’s world you never know when you are being recorded.”
“I would also like to commend the investigators for following up on this case, and to the deputy who recognized the suspect and vehicle from a public safety check point on a previous day,” said Foster. “This deputy was off duty, but still responded with the information to solve this case. This shows the commit that we have to be involved in the community we serve, and our use of technology such as the ability to email all of our deputies at once with information can and is making a difference in Newberry County.”
“Society and the function of law enforcement is constantly changing,” said Foster. “Law enforcement must adapt to these trends as well as adopt these technologies into their resources if they are truly to be effective.”
“However,” Foster continued. “These can never be a substitute for being in the community and building relationships and knowledge about the community on a regular basis. It is only when human relations and technology are combined that we can truly be most effective in law enforcement and as a community as a whole.” Sheriff Foster said that arrest warrants have been issued for Brandi Leigh Doolittle, 34, of 24 Our Street, North Augusta, SC, charging her with Grand Larceny. Sheriff Foster said that Doolittle was taken into custody in Spartanburg County on May 3 and would be returning to Newberry County sometime today.
The trailer has been recovered.
Additional arrests are expected in the case.
Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017
Article comment by:
These new cameras are wonderful. I had a trailer stolen years ago but because they don't have serial numbers or registration, the law told me about the best they could do was write a report so I could report the loss on my taxes or insurance. It was never recovered. I only had it 6 months before it was stolen off my property. Hunters cameras with night vision and movement detectors are great for detecting prowlers too. No electric hook up. Simple.