County looks to shame people into turning themselves in

Darlington, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) -  Deputies with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office hopes publishing the names of hundreds of people wanted for outstanding warrants will lead to offenders turning themselves in.

Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd says his office has hundreds of files of people they are looking for, mostly for bad checks or simple assaults and misdemeanors. He says they've not be able to find the people.

However, by publishing their names in the paper it, lets the public know who they are looking for.

"If we can find a way to bring it to the attention of people that know them or associated with them in some way, we hope that'll help us in getting them solved," Byrd said. "The merchants or business people they're out of that money. You know they've been cheated. They've been wrong and they deserve to be able to collect on that debt."

Fifty names, most current addresses, and charges are published in Darlington County newspapers each week.  The publisher of the Darlington News & Press says this is a way to help the community and local law enforcement.

"Some people honestly may not know, and others may know but have been overlooking that for a while," Cathy Elliott, News & Press publisher, said.  "So we're printing that information in the newspaper with the hope that they'll go on over to the sheriff's department and these things cleared up on both sides. It's good for both sides."

She says since the first list ran on Wednesday, she's had a number of calls from people looking to clear their records. The Darlington County Sheriff's Office says they've also gotten calls from people wanting to turn themselves in.

"We've had a number of calls, all of which we direct to the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, and if your name is on this list or if you feel that your name maybe on this list in future weeks, because we've only printed the first 50 this week," added Elliott. "So if everyone kind of helps everyone out and clean up some of this stuff, it kind of helps out everyone in Darlington County and that's our ultimate goal. Whatever is the best thing for the county and the City of Darlington is what we're aiming to do."

Byrd says some of the cases are 10 to 15 years old. Business looking to prosecute for a bad check may not be open anymore, but those that are he wants to see justice served.

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