Crime & Public Safety

Bluffton man charged in connection with multiple Sun City burglaries, police say

Beaufort County Detention Center

A 25-year-old Bluffton man was arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with several recent burglaries in Sun City Hilton Head homes, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Francisco Saul Ortiz-Aguirre — who had been a person of interest in the daytime burglaries for weeks — admitted his involvement in the burglaries after he was arrested, the release said.

He was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of petit larceny in relation to the incidents that occurred on Murray Hill Drive and Astral Lane earlier this month. As investigations into other Sun City burglaries develop, Ortiz-Aguirre may face additional charges.

Items stolen include personal checks, jewelery, and cash.

Wednesday morning, Sun City security officers — who had previously been given a photograph of Ortiz-Aguirre and a description of his vehicle by the Sheriff’s Office — watched him enter the gated community and followed him, the release said. They notified the Sheriff’s Office, who also notified Bluffton Police.

Shortly after, Bluffton officers stationed at Sun City’s Highway 170 exit saw Ortiz-Aguirre leave the property and they pulled him over, the release said. Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the traffic stop and found property in Ortiz-Aguirre’s vehicle that had been report missing.

He was taken into custody and admitted to being involved with the burglaries during an interview, the release said.

Ortiz-Aguirre was booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon and remained incarcerated as of Friday afternoon, according to the jail log. His total bond for the two burglary charges and larceny charge is $32,357, according to the release.

Ortiz-Aguirre also has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

According to the release, it is not clear whether the burglaries that occurred in Sun City these last few weeks are related to burglaries that happened in the gated community in February and March, where an unknown suspect entered residents’ homes through garage doors. The possibility is being investigated.

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Lana Ferguson has covered crime, police, and other news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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