GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Gaffney Police Department has arrested a man in connection with 40 to 60 car break-ins.
Detective Cody Turner says this is the largest car break-in case he’s worked during his 13 years with the police department.
7News received surveillance footage from a Gaffney business which said they were hit. Down the street, Warren Harrison, who owns Performance Automotive, said his business was also struck multiple times.
“It infuriates you, because I got a couple customers that’s really upset about it. They’ve even threatened to never come back again. It’s just a problem happening up and down the street,” said Harrison.
Turner said police believe Eddie Sutton is responsible for a slew of recent break-ins at multiple body and auto repair shops. He says they were able to determine that by surveillance videos from businesses and Sutton wearing the same clothes in all the videos.
“With the clothes we were able to determine, hey, this is our same guy. We went off of height, weight. A lot of times they will change, especially over a month,” said Detective Turner.
Turner said the first break-in was October 23, and Sutton was arrested on November 20. He said Sutton’s been served 18-19 warrants, so far. Turner said he is facing multiple counts of malicious damage, for cutting fences at body shops, and charges for breaking into automobiles.
Turner said that, if convinced, a suspect can face three to five years per break-in.
Turner said Sutton was looking for any cash or valuables. Over at Performance Automotive, Harrison said $40-$50 was taken from his customers. He said he also had to pay around $500 to repair his fence.
Harrison said the break-ins were happening weekly.
“He wouldn’t completely close doors of cars. So, you’d know from one day to the next when a car door was standing open, he had been here again,” said Harrison.
He said he wants customers to know they do all they can to keep everything secure at his shop.
“We keep the fences locked every night, keep the cars locked, try to keep video cameras on everything and try to keep an eye on things,” he said.
Harrison said he’s beyond thankful for the Gaffney Police Department and all they’ve done to get the suspect off the streets.
Turner said Sutton is set to have a bond hearing on Thursday. He said they’re still hearing from more victims and finding more cars on surveillance videos.