FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2014
CAMERAS IN WOODS STOP FOREST PRODUCTS THEFT
(Columbia, SC) -- Our state’s forests produce other valuable products in addition to timber. SCFC investigators have made an arrest in a case involving truckloads of pine straw stolen before they could make their way legitimately to market.
SCFC officers say they arrested Darsher Stanley, 22, of Camden, SC, on one count of removing forest products w/o permission (SC Code of Laws 16-11-580) for thefts in February.
The victim, a landowner tired of being targeted by thieves, placed surveillance cameras around the site of his pine straw harvesting operation. The first night the cameras were in place they recorded images of suspects, vehicles, and a heist in progress.
With the cooperation of the Kershaw Co. Sheriff’s Office, SCFC investigators managed to track down their lead suspect and some of the stolen goods.
Mr. Stanley’s assistants face lesser charges as they claim they were unaware the pine straw they were removing in the dark of night was not his to take. As a result, they will be charged with trespassing. The landowner’s losses totaled more than $4,100.
South Carolina’s forestland owners support $17 billion/yr industry. Forest-related businesses and manufacturing account for 90,000 jobs and a billion dollars in exports. The SC Forestry Commission is dedicated to protecting landowners, their property, and SC’s forest economy.
Mr. Stanley remains behind bars in Camden awaiting a court appearance.
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For more information, contact Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820 or SCFC Law Enforcement Chief David West at (803) 896-8838.