An SUV stolen Tuesday outside a Bluffton store is believed to be connected to two car thefts in December, according to a news release from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
A 2011 Ford Expedition was stolen Tuesday from the parking lot of Peacock Cabinetry on Buckingham Plantation Drive, possibly by the same suspect in two nearby car thefts last month, the release said.
Two vehicles were stolen from the Powerhouse Gym parking lot on Fording Island Road in December, the release said. Both vehicles were recovered in Savannah.
In each of the thefts, keys for the vehicles were taken from an area in the business accessible to the public, the release said.
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Investigators believe all three thefts might have a common suspect, described as a black man, about 5-feet-9, 180 pounds, and 18 to 23 years old. That suspect was reportedly seen in both locations before the thefts.
The Sheriff's Office urged residents and businesses in the Old South and Moss Creek areas to secure their keys and report any suspicious people to authorities.
The white Ford Expedition stolen Tuesday has not been recovered. It has S.C. license plate HKH 222, according to the release.
Anyone with information on the thefts can call 843-255-3424 or S.C. Crime Stoppers at 888-274-6372.