Two Latta men jailed in church copper theft

Robert Sowells (Source: Marion County Detention Center)
Robert Sowells (Source: Marion County Detention Center)
Johnathan Vereen (Source: Marion County Detention Center)
Johnathan Vereen (Source: Marion County Detention Center)

DILLON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Two men are in jail Tuesday after damaging the heating and cooling units at two churches for the copper they contained.

According to Captain Cliff Arnette with the Dillon County Sheriff Office, two men have been stealing copper from two Dillon county churches in the past few days.

Around midnight Tuesday, the suspects were disconnecting one unit in an attempt to steal copper at the New Hope Baptist Church when someone spotted them and called police, Arnette said.

Both suspects, 19-year-old Robert Sowells of Latta and 17-year-old Johnathan Vereen of Latta, are in custody at the Dillon Detention Center. Sowells and Vereen are charged with obtaining metals unlawfully and malicious injury to property.

Police are investigating if these suspects also struck Berean Church last Friday. Captain Arnette said that four heating and cooling units were damaged, with over $10,000 in damage.

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