Beaufort News

2 teens charged in rash of Bluffton car break-ins


Two men were charged Friday in connection with a series of car break-ins in Bluffton.

Rodney Marty Ferrell II, 18, of Pineland was charged with five counts of breaking into a motor vehicle, and Conrell Jermaine Hamilton, 18, of Tillman was charged with nine counts of breaking into a motor vehicle. They also face misdemeanor charges of petit larceny, according to a news release from the Bluffton Police Department.

The thefts occurred in the Hidden Lakes and Pinecrest subdivisions between Thursday and Friday.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is investigating a series of other vehicle break-ins in the Bluffton area. Nine residents reported car break-ins on the same street in the Woodbridge neighborhood between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to reports released Friday by the Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Glenn Zanelotti of the Sheriff's Office said no suspect has been identified, but deputies are checking with Bluffton police to determine if there is a connection with the other break-ins.

Ferrell and Hamilton were charged after a Hidden Lakes resident heard a car alarm at about 3:30 a.m. Friday and called the Bluffton Police Department, the release said. The resident saw two people walking away from a car parked at the neighborhood's pool. When officers arrived, they found two men sitting in a black 1991 Honda Accord.

After searching the car, officers found iPods, radar detectors, car keys, a bag of coins and GPS devices. Some of the items had been reported stolen from four vehicle break-ins in the Pinecrest neighborhood, the release said.

In the Pinecrest and Hidden Lakes cases, all the vehicles were unlocked, and there was no forced entry.

The majority of recovered items have been returned to their owners, the release said.

Ferrell and Hamilton were in the Beaufort County jail Friday awaiting bond hearings.


Nine residents reported vehicle break-ins on Knightsbridge Road in the Woodbridge neighborhood between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Items reported stolen include cell phones, GPS units, radar detectors and other electronics, according to Sheriff's Office reports.

Zanelotti said in most cases the vehicles were unlocked.

Thefts included:

  • A laptop computer worth $2,500 stolen from an Audi A4.
  • A GPS unit worth $250 and an MP3 player worth $200 stolen from a Chevrolet Suburban.
  • A DVD player worth $50, a TV worth $100, a cell phone worth $150, a purse and $100 cash stolen from a GMC van.
  • A laptop computer worth $2,000 and a digital camera worth $200 stolen from a Honda CR-V.
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