2 men arrested for stealing batteries from utility units - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

2 men arrested for stealing batteries from utility units in Florence Co.

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William Baker. Source: Florence County Detention Center. William Baker. Source: Florence County Detention Center.
Jeramy Hardee. Source: Florence County Detention Center. Jeramy Hardee. Source: Florence County Detention Center.

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Two men have been arrested and accused of stealing the backup batteries from 16 different utility transmission units around Florence County, officials stated.

Investigators with the Florence county Sheriff's Office arrested Jeramy Hardee on July 26 and charged him with 48 counts related to thefts at over a dozen locations in Florence County, according to a news release from the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

William Charlton Baker, III, an alleged co-defendant, was arrested and charged with the same offenses on Monday.

Between May 4 and July 25, Hardee and Baker allegedly entered 16 different utility transmission units and removed the lead acid batteries used for electrical backup, the FCSO release states.

Hardee is being held at the Florence County detention center on a $50,000 surety bond, and Baker's bond hearing is expected to be held Monday. The investigation continues, and more charges and/ or arrests are likely, officials stated.

According to the news release, the locations of the thefts include: National Cemetery Road, Creek Road near Timmonsville, SC, Old River Road near Pamplico, SC, Country Lane near Timmonsville, SC, Hill Road near Timmonsville, SC,  John Paul Jones Road near Effingham, SC, Claussen Road, in Claussen, SC, Effingham Highway, Effingham, SC, Poor Farm Road, Effingham, SC, Byrnes Boulevard, Country Club of South Carolina, Park Avenue, Florence, SC, West Pine Street, Florence, SC, Hallmark Road, Florence, SC and Isgett Road near Claussen, SC. 

Both men face 16 counts of Possession/Transportation  of Stolen Nonferrous Metals, 16 counts of Malicious Injury to Real Property, and 16 counts of Telegraph of Electrical Utility System, according to the release.

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