Porter Gas loses family treasure in robbery

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County investigators are looking to the community for assistance this week in locating the individual or individuals responsible for the break-in and robbery of Porter Gas Services Sunday night.

According to an incident report from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to the Winnsboro business just before midnight on June 13.

Deputies reported that physical damage revealed the intruders made their way into the business through the back door and had made off with the business’ cash drawer, which according to the store manager at the scene amounted to no more than $20.

Though no one was physically harmed by the late-night burglary, Brice Williams, whose family owns the store, said that the event has left everyone feeling shaken and vulnerable for now. Even worse, she said, a piece of family history was lost along with cash drawer.

“Inside the drawer was a wooden divider box. Probably worthless looking to anyone else, but it was the same divider from my family’s old store, Porter Grocery. It was small and I’m sure insignificant looking to anyone else, but it was special to us and I’m so sad to have lost it – especially in this way,” Williams told The Voice.

Authorities have little to go on in their investigation into the robbery; those responsible took careful steps in their approach by choosing a path just out of range of the business’ security cameras and by cutting the power to the remainder of the security system so that there was no recording or photo evidence to be used against them.

If not for one remaining alarm at the back door, Williams said they never would have been aware there was a break in.

She said that information has caused her to wonder how the offenders knew their victim so well, or how long they had been studying the business.

“It’s certainly frightening, that’s for sure. I keep wondering if it was someone who had visited the store before; if it was someone that I had helped at the store and shook their hand or smiled at them. It makes you feel unsafe and you begin questioning a lot of things,” Williams stated.

The one comfort to Williams and her family has been the community, she said. As her family begins making the necessary repairs and security changes to help prevent any future chance of another burglary, she said community members have overwhelmed them with help and sympathy.

“For sure, without the support of this community it would be so much worse and I appreciate that so very much,” she stated.

If anyone has information regarding the break-in, they are encouraged to contact Fairfield County Sheriff’s office at 803-635-4141.

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