A mainland resident was arrested Saturday morning after 17 unlocked cars were entered at homes on Pawleys Island the night before, according to the Pawleys Island Police Department.
Brandon Cole, 28, of 259 Smalls Loop, is being held in the Georgetown County jail, according to Police Chief Guy Osborne.
Cole was stopped by Cpl. Mike Fanning around 3 a.m. on July 15 as he rode a bicycle along Myrtle Avenue, Osborne said. Cole said he was visiting his girlfriend, but couldn't provide a name for the woman. He was released.
As reports of thefts from unlocked cars came in later in the morning, police tied some of the missing items to ones that Cole had in his pockets when he was stopped, Osborne said.
"The guy was wearing a shirt that was stolen from one of the vehicles," Osborne said.
The town of Pawleys Island added a fifth full-time police officer last month. Just in time.
Island police answered 145 calls in June. “That may be a record for the number of responses,” Police Chief Guy Osborne said.
And the Fourth of July parade drew the largest crowd he’s seen on the island in his nine years as chief, Osborne said.
Master Officer Jonathon Fairfield agreed with that assessment. He’s been coming to Pawleys Island for most of that time, and for the last three years has volunteered with the police department. That was after he graduated from the criminal justice academy in his native Pennsylvania.
Fairfield worked with two police departments in the Pittsburgh area: Ohio Township and Edgeworth. He grew up in Sewickley, the next town down the Ohio River. With four officers, Edgeworth PD is similar to the Pawleys department.
“Two incidents would be considered a busy day,” he said. “The difference is, here, people are coming from all different places.”
Osborne said Fairfield got his baptism under fire during a busy afternoon at the crowded south end parking lot. He had to deal with an irate driver and “she stuck her tongue out at him,” Osborne said.
In addition to his police work, Fairfield worked in youth ministry and, for the last 13 years, managed a 45-acre estate in Pennsylvania. He said he worked between 100 and 120 hours a week.