Arrest Made in Wateree Crime Spree

Lake Wateree residents may sleep a little easier tonight after several uneasy days and nights during last month’s mini crime spree.

Jesse Andrew Gregory, 28, of 4318 Flynn Drive in North Charleston, was arrested by North Charleston police Sept. 28 following a Lowcountry car chase. Gregory was spotted by North Charleston patrolmen driving a 2009 Ford Edge that had been stolen during Gregory’s last visit to Lake Wateree five days earlier. Gregory crashed the car, worth $8,000, during the pursuit and was transported to the J. Al Cannon Jr. Detention Center in Charleston, where he is being held on robbery and other charges in the area. Upon his release, Gregory faces charges in Fairfield County of first-degree burglary, grand larceny and several petty larceny charges.

The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office said they believe Gregory is responsible for a string of thefts along Wateree Estates Road that first took place in the early morning hours of Sept. 19. During this first outing to Lake Wateree, several unlocked cars were entered and Gregory allegedly took cash, tools and a handgun worth more than $900 in total. On Sept. 23, Gregory reportedly returned to the area, first to a home in the 2100 block of Wateree Estates Road. At approximately 10 p.m., residents inside the home heard a noise come from the ground floor of the house, but did not investigate it. The next morning, they awoke to find someone had cut a screen and entered the home, stealing a laptop computer and carrying case worth $100. A truck in the driveway of the home had also been entered, although nothing was reported stolen from inside.

On Sept. 24, between 1 and 6:27 a.m., Gregory allegedly broke into an SUV parked outside a home in the 1200 block of Wateree Estates Road and stole a purse worth $200.

At 6:25 a.m. on Sept. 24, a resident in the 100 block of Copper Lane, just off Wateree Estates Road, reported the theft of his 2009 Ford Edge. Another vehicle in the driveway of the home had been rummaged through, although nothing was reported stolen. Meanwhile, notice of the stolen Ford Edge was placed on the police wire – the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

A little more than an hour and a half later, investigators discovered a Mazda Protégé of undetermined year and worth $2,000 abandoned in a field near the 1100 block of Wateree Estates Road. The Mazda, which matched the description of a car seen in the area before and following the Sept. 19 crime spree, checked out as stolen from a home in Richland County. Inside the Mazda, investigators found the stolen laptop and carrying case, both of which were returned to their owner. Additional evidence found near the Mazda led investigators to a positive ID of Gregory, whose name was also added to the NCIC.

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