South Carolinians can now rest easy knowing their pillows and other valuables are safe, as the Berkeley County Sheriff’s office announced on June 27 its arrest of four out of five suspects of the so-called “Pillowcase Bandits,” who committed dozens of burglaries over the past four months.
John Paul Thompson 46, John W. Walling 27, Brandon Roberts 24 and Daniel L. Quarles, 31, have been charged with multiple counts of burglary and grand larceny. Walling is in custody in Virginia. Deputies are still in pursuit of one more suspect, Eric J. Youngblood, 35.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s office has been investigating a string of related burglaries over five counties including Berkeley, Chalreston, Dorchester, Williamsburg and Orangeburg in which the criminals would sneak into the back of houses, steal a pillowcase and fill it with valuable items within the household. The perpetrators stole televisions, guns, jewelry, lawn equipment or whatever they deemed valuable, from their victims.
Berkeley county detectives worked with neighboring agencies to uncover a storage warehouse in North Charleston where they were able to recover more than $37,000 worth of stolen items. The burglars had been selling the stolen goods to flea markets across the state.
“The Pillowcase Bandits targeted the wrong communities. They roamed our Counties, stealing our citizens’ hard-earned property. This was a burglary syndication that was stopped through great detective work and collaborative efforts across law enforcement agencies. I hope the affected communities feel relieved, knowing the suspects have been arrested,” said Duane Lewis, Berkeley County Sheriff.
Most of the stolen items have been returned to their rightful owners, but if citizens believe they are missing stolen property on account of these recent burglaries, they are encouraged to call Lieutenant Geno Alteri at 843-719-4836.