For the third time since the end of November, a group of teenagers has been arrested after law enforcement said they broke into the same property belonging to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
On Sunday, five teenagers were arrested following a burglary at the sheriff’s department gym in the Richland Mall, Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release.
At about 2 a.m., deputies responded to the mall’s R1 CrossFit Gym at 3400 Forest Drive when a burglary alarm was activated, according to the release.
The deputies saw the teens walking down North Beltline Boulevard and detained them, the sheriff’s department said. The teens admitted to smashing a window to break into the gym, according to the release.
Three juveniles — a 17-year-old girl and two 16-year-old boys — each were charged with second-degree burglary and malicious injury to personal property, the sheriff’s department said. The minors names were not made public because of their ages.
A pair of 18-year-olds, Bryson Rhoads and Abigail Davis, also were each charged with second-degree burglary and malicious injury to personal property in addition to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the release.
All five teens were taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, the sheriff’s department said.
The gym has been the site of three other recent burglaries.
On Nov. 30, four others were charged after a burglary at the sheriff’s department gym at Richland Mall — Noah Twiggs and Richard West, both 19, Christopher Morris, 23, and a 17-year-old girl, the sheriff’s department said.
In that incident, deputies responded to a possible break-in and saw a “suspicious” car near a door, where the four were detained while trying to leave, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies discovered that the suspects, who authorities said called themselves “urban explorers,” had burglarized the workout facility and stole items, the sheriff’s department said. They had a variety of burglary tools, including flashlights, a sledgehammer, baseball ball, knife and gloves, according to the sheriff’s department.
There were other incidents in December.
Shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 23, deputies responded to a burglary alarm at the sheriff’s department gym where they Hannah Harder and Alexander Clement, both 17, inside on roller skates.
Both were arrested and charged with burglary, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies say they also found a backpack full of burglary tools, which they say belonged to one of the teens.
And in another incident in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, deputies said they were doing a property check at the same address when a burglary alarm was activated. According to the sheriff’s department, the deputies found Timothy Walden and Kyle Livingston, both 17, inside the same gym.
Deputies gave a K9 warning, and both surrendered. They were arrested and charged with burglary, the sheriff’s department said.
In total, there have been 13 people — 12 of them teenagers — arrested and charged with burglary at the location in the past 53 days.
“It’s sad young people continue to make bad decisions and break into the Sheriff’s Department gym,” Lott said in the release. “But they broke the law, and they will be held accountable as they should be.”