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Burglary suspects captured, gun helped thwart crime

Web posted Nov. 06 at 02:58 AM
The Augusta Chronicle

By Todd Bauer
South Carolina Bureau

GRANITEVILLE -- Police arrested two men and were looking for a third involved in an attempted burglary Thursday at a Whaley Pond Road home that was thwarted when a neighbor spotted them and returned gunfire after the burglars allegedly shot at him.

Isaiah Devon Miles, 19, of 426 Biscayne Road, Aiken, and Jabari Williams, 22, of 265 Old Cherokee Indian Road, Graniteville, were charged with first-degree burglary and assault and battery with intent to kill.

A third man was still on the loose late Thursday, when authorities called off a manhunt at 10 p.m. that involved bloodhounds and a helicopter.

The incident started before noon Thursday when a resident of the neighborhood, Harold Lott, was driving by the house and saw an unfamiliar car and a man knocking on the front door. No one was home at the time.

When he doubled back, he saw the green Honda Civic -- which was later reported stolen from Richmond County -- parked behind his neighbor's house at 634 Whaley Pond Road and suspected something was wrong.

Mr. Lott armed himself and walked behind his neighbor's house to investigate, said Aiken County sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank. A man sitting behind the wheel of the car saw the resident, jumped out of the car and ran into the woods. A second man walked out of the front door of the house, saw Mr. Lott, then ran into the woods.

A third man walked out of the house, saw Mr. Lott, pulled a gun and fired a shot at him, Lt. Frank said. The shot missed, and Mr. Lott fired a shot in return, also missing. The intruder then fled into the woods, according to police reports.

A short time later, the men attempted to steal a car from another home on Whaley Pond Road but were unsuccessful, said Lt. Frank.

Officers from the sheriff's office, the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the North Augusta Department of Public Safety set up a perimeter and dog teams from the Aiken Department of Public Safety searched the woods. Interstate 20 was briefly blocked in both lanes while the search continued.

A tip from a passing motorist led police to an arrest of one of the suspects near the area of Evening Shade and Chalk Bed roads.

The second suspect was arrested when the first suspect pointed him out to sheriff's deputies, Lt. Frank said.

The first suspect was being driven on Ascauga Lake Road to the sheriff's office when he pointed out his alleged accomplice to the deputy, saying, ``Oh, that's him.'' Then he changed his story, denying it was one of the intruders, and the deputy continued driving.

The first suspect later said the man really was the one involved. The deputy arrested the man at a convenience store at the corner of Ascauga Lake and Rainbow Falls roads, Lt. Frank said.

It was unclear whether the suspects were wanted in connection with other investigations, Lt. Frank said.

``I know some other agencies are interested in these individuals,'' he said. ``But I don't know any details.''

It was not determined whether either man was the one who fired the shot. Todd Bauer can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or Note: Had this citizen not been armed, what chances would he have had to thwart this crime? Zilch. We applaud this man's bravery and his willingness to risk his own life to stop predators from robbing his neighbor. We also encourage him to watch his front sight -- so he doesn't miss next time.

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