News Briefs

Help identify suspects in armed robberies at Lady’s Island Tiger Express

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects who robbed the Lady’s Island Tiger Express gas station in two separate incidents.

Just before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, the store was robbed by a black male armed with a handgun. The suspect entered the store, brandished the weapon and demanded cash from the register. After being given an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled the store, leaving both of the clerks on duty uninjured.

The following night, Wednesday, Dec. 3, just before 11 p.m., the store would be robbed again, this time by three black males. The suspects went behind the front counter where they forced a male and a female employee to the floor and took the money from the register. One suspect struck the male employee in the head while another suspect frisked the female employee, stealing her phone from her pocket.

The female employee was then forced to the office where they demanded she open the safe, but she was unable to do so. The male employee was then ordered to try, but was also unable to open it. The male employee fought back, punching one of the suspects in the face, at which time they all fled the store on foot.

As the suspects fled to the parking lot, a customer was approaching the store. The customer immediately ran back to his vehicle to call 911, at which time he was approached by one of the suspects who presented a handgun and ordered him to drop his phone. The suspect took the customer’s phone and car keys and fled the area.

The male employee sustained a minor head injury for which he refused medical treatment. Neither the female employee, nor the customer sustained any injuries.

At this time, it is unknown if the two robberies are connected. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information regarding these robberies to contact Sgt. A. Zsamar at 843-255-3408, Cpl. B. Disbrow at 843-255-3407, or Crimestoppers.

Port Royal man arrested for child porn

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators have arrested a Port Royal man for allegedly sharing electronic images depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

John Joseph Charette, Sr., 67, was arrested Tuesday, Dec. 2, following the execution of a search warrant at his Port Royal home. He has been charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, however, additional charges are likely pending as the investigation progresses.

On November 24, investigators received information that a computer associated with an account at 1606 Edinburgh Ave had uploaded suspected child pornography to an online file-sharing program. A search warrant was secured and was executed this morning at the home.

The file in question, along with multiple other images of a similar nature, were found on Charette’s computer at the residence. All the collected materials are being reviewed and analyzed to determine any appropriate additional charges, and may then be sent to the SC Attorney General’s Office for further examination.

The investigation continues and further details may be released as they become available.

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