Looters, Rioters arrested; additional charges on Boogaloo extremist

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook announce the arrest of three men who participated in a string of burglaries and looting, following the protests that turned violent in Columbia the weekend of May 30.

On Sunday, May 31, around 11 p.m., a group of 28 people gathered outside of Green’s liquor store on Assembly Street, broke the glass of the store and stormed in. An estimated $5,700 worth of liquor was stolen from the store.

Later in the night, around 2:48 a.m., more than a dozen people broke into the Rodney’s Rockets at 714 Clemson Road, through the front door and stole an estimate $1,000 worth of fireworks.

Around 3:09 a.m., more than a dozen people broke into an Express Alterations & Dry Cleaners at 1061 Sparkleberry Lane Extension through the back door and stole about $150 from the cash register.

Finally, around 3:28 a.m., more than a dozen people broke into Andrew’s Jewelry at 10149 Two Notch through the front door, causing more than $10,000 worth of damage to the store.

Shortly after the jewelry store burglary, deputies spotted a vehicle acting erratically in the Sandhills area. They attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled. Deputies gave chase and continued onto Interstate 20 at a high rate of speed. Though deputies lost sight of the car, it was later found wrecked in the 1800 block of Faraway Drive. The car owner, an associate of one of the burglars, reported it stolen.

Investigators arrested Preston Helms, 27, on three counts of second-degree burglary (violent) and three counts of looting during a state of emergency. Helms participated in the burglaries of the fireworks store, the alterations shop and the jewelry store. He was the driver of the vehicle that fled from deputies and later crashed.

Xavier Creech, 17, was charged as an adult for breaking into the alterations shop. He is facing charges of second-degree burglary (violent) and looting during a state of emergency.

Also, Corey Haynes, 33, was arrested for breaking into Green’s and the fireworks store. He is facing two counts of second-degree burglary (violent) and two counts of looting during a state of emergency.

Investigators are still seeking to identify the two people who attacked the passerby during the May 30 riot. Further, the Columbia Police Department is seeking to identify more than 20 people who broke into Green’s and an additional 25 agitators who participated in the riot the weekend of May 30.

Further, Joshua Barnard, one of two Boogaloo Boys arrested, has been re-arrested 11 charges of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

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