BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–Lumber has been disappearing for the last couple of months from construction sites in the Cane Bay area, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
A man and a woman are now behind bars have deputies say the two stole the wood and sold it on the Facebook Marketplace.
Deputies say they recently met with several construction superintendents who were estimating approximately $30,000 loss in materials since their projects began.
To combat the problem, members of the Community Action Team developed a plan to catch these subjects in the act.
In the cover of the night, deputies conducted surveillance from several newly constructed homes in the Lindera Perserve subdivision. At approximately 12:50 a.m., deputies observed a red Dodge Durango enter the construction area. The vehicle slowed down as it passed a large stack of lumber. The vehicle circled the construction area, turned off its its headlights before returning to the lumber.
A male subject, later identified as Christropher Keener, exited the front passenger seat and moved a large barrier to allow the SUV to back in beside the lumber. Christopher Keener opened the rear hatch and took possession of several pieces of lumber.
The take down team were notified and quickly responded to the theft in progress. The suspect observed the vehicle in the distance, and decided to drop the lumber and attempt to flee. Christopher Keener, returned to the vehicle whereupon it quickly attempted to flee the area. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver, Deborah Keener, was detained, along with Christopher Keener.
Following the investigation, three bags of a substance that field tested presumptive to be Heroin were located in Christopher Keener’s pocket. The vehicle that was used, was uninsured, had suspended vehicle resgistration, and was driven by someone with a suspended drivers license.
Christopher Keener, 39 from 3333 Fairview Dr in Ladson, was charged with P.W.I.D Heroin, Petit Larceny, and Trespassing. Deborah Keener, 43 from the same address, was placed under arrest for Petit Larceny and Trespassing, along with 4 traffic related traffic citations. The Keeners. had a minor child with them in the Durango at the time of their arrest therefore they were also charged with Unlawful Conduct Towards a Child. They were transported to the Hill Finklea Detention Center pending warrant service and a bond hearing.
While investigating this case, it was learned that Christopher Keener sells a large amount of lumber on Facebook Market Place, in which he claims to be ‘left over from construction jobs.’
If you purchased lumber from this individual, please contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
Ironically, deputies say Mrs. Keener took to Facebook expressing concern about the lumber being stolen and that she hoped that the thieves got caught.
“We would also like to thank Deborah Keener for her concern about the lumber theft in Cane Bay that the BCSO Facebook page posted about last week. We are glad to report that we caught somebody!” posted the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office on social media.