Police urge residents and visitors to exercise caution when in downtown Beaufort this weekend after two recent armed robberies in the historic district.
Investigators do not believe there is a connection between the June 19 armed robbery of a Beaufort couple in the Downtown Beaufort Marina parking lot and the robbery of an associate pastor of the Parish Church of St. Helena last weekend, but residents should be on guard, said Police Chief Matt Clancy.
"Be aware of your surroundings. Park in a well-lit area. Stay within well-traveled areas and ... if you see something that is suspicious, that just doesn't seem right, or you think someone is following you, immediately call 911," Clancy said. "It's kind of disheartening when something happens, and you talk to people and they say, 'Oh yeah, I saw something but didn't call.' We would much rather respond to something that turns out to be nothing than have something happen."
Clancy declined to say whether police would increase patrols downtown over the holiday weekend in reaction to the robberies.
"I can't really get into the specifics of what we're doing," Clancy said. "I can tell you that whenever we enter a season where we know more people are going to be out, we always have extra patrols in those areas in the nighttime."
Officers have made one arrest in the marina-parking lot incident, charging Jujuan Habersham, 23, of Ridgeland with armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, unlawful carrying of a pistol and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center, with bond set at $105,000, according to the jail log.
Two other men who witnesses say were involved in the crime have not been identified, according to authorities.
Investigators have also not identified a man accused of tying up and robbing an associate pastor of the Parish Church of St. Helena at gunpoint late Saturday night inside the church's office.
The suspect was described only as a black man wearing black clothing, according to police.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.