4 men arrested in connection with auto break-ins in Sumter


SUMTER, S.C. (WACH)-- A suspicious vehicle call lead to the arrest of four men suspected of breaking into vehicles in a Sumter subdivision Tuesday.

Sumter Police were called to the Idlewild area around 1:30 a.m. after two men were seen getting out of a silver Chrysler 300 that was driving slowly through the Idlewild subdivision.

The caller told police that the two men appeared to be checking vehicle door handles.

Officers later stopped a vehicle matching the description on Springdale Drive off Loring Mill Road.

Several book bags were in clear view in the backseat.

Officers discovered two handguns when the four occupants were asked to get out of the vehicle.

All our men were taken into custody and booked at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

- Austin Cole Higgins, 23, of Camden

- Blake Alexander Drown, 17, of Sumter

- Mikkel Demond Bush, 23, of Camden

- Nickolas Francis Smith, 17, of Sumter

Each of the men have been charged with 15 counts of breaking and entering auto and unlawful carrying of a pistol. Drown and Smith were additionally charged with possession of a pistol under the age of 18.

Police have tied the four -- all of whom have previous arrests including breaking and entering auto -- to unlocked vehicles that were entered in Idlewild area and others on Wren Street off of Alice Drive. However, it is unclear how they obtained the handguns that were found.

Sumter Police continue to investigate.

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