Washington PD cracking down on larcenies

Published 6:51 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

Washington Police Department is targeting larcenists, and the public, in an effort to cut down on the city’s crime rate.

“When I look at our crimes in our city, larceny is the one, continues to be the one, that gives us problems,” said Washington Police and Fire Services Director Stacy Drakeford. “That is what I consider our No. 1 problem. Whether it’s from a store or from a vehicle or an individual — it’s larceny.”

Friday, Washington Police Department officers arrested four people after police were informed of a shoplifting in progress at the Washington Walmart. Kwame Everett, 43, Nia Smith, 24, Monique Melton, 34 — all of Windsor — and Adrian Outlaw, 22, of Williamston, were charged with a single count of larceny for Friday’s incident, and Everett and Smith were additionally charged with another Walmart larceny on Sept. 27, according to a press release from the Washington Police Department. Drakeford said it’s not unusual for perpetrators to travel away from where they live to commit these types of crimes.

“I’m not going to say it’s standard, but there are some people that travel from city to city that do these types of crimes. That’s not the first group that we’ve caught like that,” Drakeford said. “Sometimes it’s the same people that are involved in larceny that we have around here. They get out on bond, and in a few weeks or a few months, they’re doing the exact same thing again.”

Drakeford said larceny is an ongoing problem, one that law enforcement is not only trying to tackle with investigations and arrests, but by educating the public about keeping their belongings secure. Locking cars and homes and putting away belongings, such as bicycles, will deprive people of the opportunity to steal.

“In an effort to reduce our crime rate, the general public and law enforcement has to remove that opportunity for individuals to commit larcenies. … They call it, basically, the crime triangle: the victim, the opportunity, the perpetrator or suspect,” Drakeford said.

For the general public, taking away the opportunity means there is no crime to commit, according to Drakeford.

All four of those charged with the Friday incident were transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center after arrest. Both Melton and Outlaw were held on $2,000 secured bonds; Smith, on a $4,000 bond; and Everett, on a $4,500 bond.