An 18-year-old Savannah man has been charged with stealing an SUV in greater Bluffton and is a person of interest in two other local vehicle thefts, according to court records.
James Duncan was arrested Jan. 21 by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department on a warrant related to one of the thefts, department spokesman Julian Miller said. Following a hearing, Duncan was brought to Beaufort County and charged Monday with one count of grand larceny, according to Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
On Jan. 14, the suspect went to Peacock Cabinetry on Buckingham Plantation Drive to ask about a job, then stole an employee's white 2011 Ford Expedition from the parking lot, according to the Sheriff's Office.
He took the car keys from the victim's purse after she asked him to write down his contact information and walked away, leaving her purse unattended, a news release said.
The Sheriff's Office also considers Duncan a person of interest in two December vehicle thefts from the parking lot of Powerhouse Gym in greater Bluffton, McIntosh said. Witnesses told deputies a man matching Duncan's description entered the Fording Island Road business shortly before the cars were stolen.
Duncan has not been charged with those crimes; an investigation is ongoing, McIntosh said. He was being held Tuesday at the Beaufort County Detention Center, with bail set at $25,000.
All three stolen vehicles have been recovered by Savannah police.
Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.