SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – People in one Upstate neighborhood woke up to quite a shock Tuesday after learning many of them had been burglarized overnight.
At least one thief hit multiple homes in the Verdmont neighborhood in Simpsonville.
James Roy Prator, 23, faced a judge Tuesday night in connection with the burglaries. He’s charged with 10 counts of auto break-in, one count of burglary, and seven counts of petty larceny.
Deputies are still investigating what happened and if more people were involved.
Neighbors say what happened around 1:30 Tuesday morning has frightened them and interrupted the peace and quiet of their neighborhood.
One neighbor’s security camera caught a man trying to open their locked car.
“This is really abnormal for this neighborhood,” said one Verdmont neighbor who didn’t want to be identified because he was a theft victim. “We’ve not had any kind of break-ins or any kind of occurrences like this.”
He says he was on his way to work when he saw his neighbors post on Facebook about being victims of burglary. That’s when he asked his wife to check their car.
He says she “Noticed there were things sort of strewn about in the car, so she opened the door and went through and found one item missing that was valued at $300 or $400.”
Another neighbor, Harry Fisher says he woke up to see a deputy in the alley behind his home.
“There was a stolen pickup truck behind my home, so that was the first shocking news,” Fisher said.
Neighbors say multiple cars were broken into, at least one home had their car stolen, and another neighbor says he woke up to find a man sleeping in his car.
Neighbors say these break-ins were a wake up call and learning lesson.
“I think there’s going to be an upswing in home security systems,” Fisher said.
Neighbors say they’ll also be looking out for each other.
Prator has an outstanding warrant out of his home state of Texas, so he will be extradited back there when he satisfies the bond requirement in South Carolina.
Prator is being held on $69,700 bond.