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Sunday, Feb 12, 2012County: Bamberg
» Dezmon Javaris Jones
» Raven Lamar Perry
» Name Undisclosed
» Name Undisclosed
More than a dozen stolen pit bull dogs were located near Denmark in Bamberg County Sunday, Sheriff Ed Darnell says.
The Bamberg County Sheriff's Office assisted the Columbia Police Department in locating 16 pit bulls in a wooded area off Zorn Street, he said.
The dogs were believed to have been stolen from the Columbia Animal Shelter for the purpose of dogfighting, authorities say. The dogs were stolen on three successive weekends, most recently on Saturday night.
Three people are in police custody and a fourth is being sought in connection with the case.
Darnell said Tuesday his department was contacted by Columbia investigators on Feb. 12 to aid in locating a residence on Zorn Street in Bamberg County where stolen dogs were allegedly being kept.
Deputies were given an address on Zorn Street and were told to look for a red truck and a white Mustang in the yard, he said. The stolen dogs were reportedly in a wooded area behind the house, Darnell said.
Officers approaching the property from a dirt road beside the home could hear and see several dogs in the wooded area, the incident report said.
A man who came to the door of the home when deputies knocked said the dogs in the woods were not his, noting his property stopped at the woods, the report said.
According to the incident report, when he was asked about the dogs, the man became very belligerent. He came out of the house and told the deputies that only the five dogs directly behind his house belonged to him, the report said.
Deputies then went through the woods and found at least 15 or 16 "pit dogs and puppies," according to the report.
Darnell said that information was relayed to the Columbia investigators, who said they were on their way to the location to identify the dogs.
"We are very fortunate that we found these dogs," he said. "They were all in good shape, though a lot of them were tied to trees with what we call big 'log chains.'"
Darnell said the Columbia investigators, accompanied by animal control personnel, initially removed only four dogs and some puppies from the location, but returned Monday morning to retrieve more. Pictures and video of the dogs and the scene were taken during the investigation, he said.
Dezmon Javaris Jones, 25, of Denmark showed up at the Bamberg County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, telling officers that Columbia police were looking for him. Darnell said Jones was put on touch with Columbia Police.
"These dogs included 14 of the 16 that had been stolen from the animal shelter in Columbia during three different break-ins where only pit bulls had been taken," Darnell said.
The break in the case came after Columbia police set up a stakeout at the Columbia Animal Shelter in hopes of catching those responsible for stealing the dogs, he said.
"Initially, they caught two and two got away," Darnell said. "Dezmon Jones turned himself in to the Columbia Police Department this afternoon (Tuesday)."
Also arrested in the case were Raven Perry, 17, of Blackville and a 13-year-old whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, the sheriff said.
Authorities are still looking for another 13-year-old, he said.
At a press conference Monday, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said his department is investigating the case as a possible illegal dogfighting ring.
If you have information about the stolen pit bulls, call (888) CRIME-SC, TEXT to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC," followed by the tip information or visit www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and click on the red "Submit a tip" tab. All calls remain anonymous and you could earn a cash reward.
- midlandsconnect.com - Feb 14, 2012 thetandd.com - Feb 13, 2012 thestate.com - Feb 13, 2012 wbtv.com - Feb 12, 2012
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