A former Hilton Head Island real estate agent accused of pawning jewelry stolen from homes for sale was charged by Beaufort County authorities Monday with receiving stolen goods after another piece of missing jewelry was found in his car.
Darrell Finch, 38, had been arrested Friday by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on a fugitive-of-justice warrant issued by the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, which had linked him to stolen jewelry sold to a Savannah pawn shop, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.
Georgia authorities believe some of the jewelry is from a series of thefts from homes for sale on Wedgefield Drive, Colonial Drive, Knollwood Drive, Oyster Bay Place and Sea Robin Court on Hilton Head. The thefts occurred between April and late June.
The Sheriff's Office impounded and searched Finch's car and found a pendant inside the vehicle that had been reported stolen from the home on Oyster Bay Place, McIntosh said.
The discovery of the pendant, worth about $150, led investigators to charge Finch with one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen goods, she said.
Finch is in the county jail awaiting a bond hearing on the misdemeanor charge and an extradition hearing for the Georgia charges, according to the jail log.
McIntosh said investigators have attempted to question Finch about the thefts, but the former real estate agent has "not been cooperative."
"We're playing a waiting game at this point," McIntosh said. "We're also working closely with (Savannah police) to see if any evidence can possibly lead to additional charges on either side of the" Savannah River.
Finch faces up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of stealing the pendant.
Attempts Tuesday to reach a Savannah police spokesman for details about the stolen jewelry and what charges Finch faces in Georgia were unsuccessful.
A TROUBLED PAST
Finch most recently was a real estate agent with Re/Max Island Realty. His license was returned to the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation by his broker-in-charge and declared inactive June 21, according to an agency spokeswoman.
In 2010, Finch's Georgia real estate license was revoked. He also received two disciplinary sanctions in that state -- one in October 2004 and the other in June 2010, according to the Georgia Real Estate Commission.
Finch's real estate license in Florida was voided in September 2009, according to state regulators.
Finch began work with Island Realty in September 2010, a month after he was arrested by the Manatee County, Fla., Sheriff's Office on an outstanding warrant from Richmond County, Ga., where he was wanted for theft, according to Manatee County court records.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office charged Finch on Aug. 24, 2010, with two felony counts of theft, according to Georgia court records.
Finch pleaded guilty to those charges in February and was sentenced to 60 days in prison, and six years and 10 months of probation, records show. He also was fined $1,925.
Finch also is on probation in Florida until November 2013, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Florida records show that Finch was sentenced to three years' probation in November 2010 after pleading guilty to offenses that occurred between April 2008 and October 2009.
Those crimes, all of which were committed in Pinellas County, include four counts of grand theft, two counts of credit card fraud, one count of trafficking in stolen property and one count of failure to appear in court, according to the Department of Corrections.