POMARIA — Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Newberry County Sheriff’s Deputies apprehended the fourth suspect from a manhunt.
The suspect was located and arrested underneath an abandoned house on Barney Piester’s farm off Piester Road.
The arrests were prompted by an investigation into thefts of lawn/farm equipment at SC 34 and Plantation Acres Road east of the City of Newberry.
In the early morning hours, a deputy on surveillance areas victimized by thefts observed a pickup truck pulling a zero turn lawn mower on a trailer.
The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle but the suspect vehicle refused to pull over and a pursuit began.
The suspect vehicle turned down a neighborhood road (Plantation Acres) and entered a cul-de-sac. Four suspects exited the vehicle and began running on foot.
The deputy detained three suspects but the fourth fled on foot toward SC 34.
Assets from SLED, including a blood hound team and helicopter were called in to help with the search.
Newberry County Sheriff Foster said the suspects are believed to be associated with other thefts of lawn equipment, ATVs, etc. in the area.
Foster said law enforcement believes these equipment theft rings are associated with gang activity from other areas of the state and the gangs coordinate thefts, or attempted thefts.
Pomaria resident Barney Piester was among residents thankful for the ongoing investigation and law enforcement presence.
“I heard it on the monitor when I first woke and went out to check on my farm and let law enforcement in the gates,” Piester said.
“It worries me about all these people riding up and down the roads with trailers (and lawn mowers on them).”
For more information on this story as it develops, see www.newberryobserver.com and for a full report, see the Wednesday edition of The Newberry Observer.