Home invasion suspects flee at sight of victim's gun - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Home invasion suspects flee at sight of victim's gun

Posted: Updated:
Hawkins (Source: Marlboro County Sheriff's Office) Hawkins (Source: Marlboro County Sheriff's Office)
Stevenson (Source: Marlboro County Sheriff's Office) Stevenson (Source: Marlboro County Sheriff's Office)

MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Two men have been arrested in connection to the invasion and burglary of an elderly woman's home less than 12 hours after the crime was reported.

Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight reports that 31-year-old Ronnie Henry Stephenson of Lydia and 42-year-old Nelson Hawkins of Darlington were taken into custody and charged with burglary and damage to property.

Those charges stem from the reported home burglary of a Blenheim woman around 8 a.m. Monday morning in the area of Highway 38 South.

The victim reports she was home alone, and confronted the two men with her own handgun after they kicked down her door. Once they fled, she activated her life line device and alerted police. Investigators and the Bloodhound Tracking team responded to track the whereabouts of the two men.

Deputies noticed a strange vehicle in the area and from its license plate number, were able to locate one of the suspects just a few hours later, who in turn cooperated with police to locate the other wanted individual.

A search of the suspects' vehicle did reveal a handgun, but the owner has not been determined.

Knight continues that both Stevenson and Hawkins are believed to be connected to burglaries in Marlboro and Darlington Counties and have lengthy prior records.

Sheriff Knight comments that, "This is an example of a complete team effort from all of my staff and Darlington County coordinating perfectly. This morning started off very bad for the victim and now we can tell her that the two men that did this are in jail. I cannot thank Darlington County Sheriff's Office enough for assisting my Investigators from the first call to staying with them all day to get the suspects in custody."

"The victim in this case acted courageously by defending her home and acting quickly by pressing her life line button. This is the second home invasion in two years where an older victim with a life line acted courageously. We were fortunate to solve both cases and the victims are safe. The witness that wrote this tag number down is a true Hero and should be applauded for doing what was right," Sheriff Knight adds.

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