Abbeville man facing dozens of charges
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 4:51 PM
One day after attempting a nude escape run from the Greenwood County Detention Center, an Abbeville man was booked Wednesday on dozens of property-related crimes across five Lakelands counties.
William Ray, 35, of 124 Dutchman Road, was arrested by U.S. marshals at a Greenville County motel late Friday night following a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving seven law-enforcement agencies. On Wednesday, authorities in Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick and Saluda counties combined to file 25 charges against the suspect, according to a press statement released by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office.
"It's a great day when everyone can join forces to help victims in several counties," Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis said. "I appreciate the hard work of all that were involved."
Ray is suspected to be behind a rash of burglaries at businesses across the Lakelands during the past month. The seven agencies involved in his arrest began noticing similarities in business break-ins and converged to investigate the incidents. The Abbeville County Sheriff's Office, Abbeville Police Department, Greenwood Police Department, McCormick Police Department and Saluda Police Department filed one charge apiece against the suspect. Ray faces 12 counts from the Laurens County Sheriff's Office and eight from the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office.
According to law enforcement incident reports, the slate of Greenwood County burglaries included a Friday morning smash and grab break-in during which a safe was stolen from Fin N Filet restaurant, and a Dec. 30 burglary at Bradley grocery store in which $4,000 in cash and 20 packs of cigarettes were stolen. Security footage showed a Nissan Altima, which investigators tied to the suspect, at the scene of both crimes. He was also implicated in a late December burglary at Key West Club along Old Abbeville Highway, and implicated in another at Corley's Market, 1220 Highway 72 West, early the morning of Dec. 30.
Laurens County authorities charged Ray with three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of attempted burglary, grand larceny, petit larceny and malicious injury to personal property involving several burglaries in Waterloo and Cross Hill on Jan. 9 and Jan. 28.
Authorities raided the suspect's home in Abbeville last week and learned he had fled to Greenville. Marshals tracked him there and he was detained at the Greenwood County Detention Center early Saturday morning. Detention center officials said the suspect broke out a window at the jail Tuesday morning and fled. Sheriff's office and police officers captured him minutes later along Powers Avenue. Court records indicate no bond was set for the man Tuesday and he remained at the detention center.