For a greenhouse owner in Blair who has suffered a string of break-ins over the last two weeks, the third time was the charm.
For the suspects, the third time was once too often.
Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies were able to hem in two suspects, cornering them inside a camper early Friday morning after witnessing the two men strip copper wire from a greenhouse in the 4200 block of Highway 215 N. in Blair. After a brief tussle, during which one of the suspects — Charles Edward Pete II, 42, of Cole Trestle Road in Blair — was brought down with a taser, deputies arrested Pete and 23-year-old Justin Antonio Coleman, of Strother Road in Blair, and charged both men with burglary and breaking and entering.
Deputies arrived on the scene just before 1 a.m. Friday after receiving a call of a break-in in progress. They were met by the victim who told them he had been broken into three times over the last 10 days and that two men were currently inside one of his greenhouses. The victim said that because of the frequency of the recent break-ins, he had decided to perform a stake-out of the property that night.
The deputies approached the greenhouse and could see two flashlights working their way through the structure. They watched as the suspects exited the greenhouse and entered a camper nearby. While one deputy covered the back door, the other entered the front door and turned his flashlight on the suspects. Coleman immediately dropped a handgun to the floor, according to the incident report, while Pete made for the back door and attempted to kick it open to make his escape. Pete was eventually subdued with a taser blast and both suspects were handcuffed and arrested.
Investigators arriving on the scene located a car parked on Fort Wagner Road, approximately a quarter of a mile from the incident. Between the car and the greenhouses, investigators located the copper wire, worth $150, that had been cut from the greenhouses.