Charleston Police catch downtown newspaper thief red-handed

Charleston County News

Suspect on security video | Courtesy Charleston Police Department

CHARLESTON, S.C (WCBD) – Charleston Police say they have arrested a man who repeatedly stole newspapers from a downtown residence.

In the fall of 2018, Charleston police officers say someone began stealing copies of the Washington Post and the Post and Courier from a home on Smith Street. The thefts were reported to police on June 25th, 2019.

Suspect on security video | Courtesy Charleston Police Department

On Sunday, Sgt. Michael Niblock was parked in his police cruiser near the corner of Marion Street and Smith Street watching the doorway of 162 Smith Street.

He saw a man walk down Smith Street carrying a 5-foot aluminum pole and a backpack approach the doorway of that home. The man then dropped the backpack and stuck the pole through a gate to retrieve the newspapers.

Sgt. Niblock approached the man and detained him.

The man has been identified as 61-year-old Robert Dwayne Sutton. He was initially charged with petit larceny, but those charges were later upgraded to property crime enhancement due to prior convictions for shoplifting.  

Charleston Police say an employee of MLB Distributors who delivers newspapers at 162 Smith Street, also witnessed the incident.

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