Tyler Lee Childers, age 23 of Harleyville, and John Otis Carn III, age 24 of Saint George, were arrested after officers found them stealing catalytic converters from vehicles overnight at a car dealership, according to Lexington Police Chief Chief Terrence Green.
At approximately 11:40 p.m., officers responded to JT’s Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, located at 4838 Sunset Boulevard, for a burglary alarm and found the gate to the parking lot open. An officer noticed several catalytic converters that had been hidden under a pickup truck and called for additional officers to set up a perimeter and began searching the area. With the assistance of Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies, officers found a vehicle in the woods behind the dealership that they believed to be involved with a handgun and rifle inside on the car seat.
Officers from the Lexington Police Department’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Team flew a drone over the area and quickly located a man hiding in the woods who was later identified as Tyler Childers. After being handcuffed, officers found a loaded handgun in his jacket pocket.
While processing the scene where damage had been done to multiple vehicles that had their catalytic converters removed, officers found and arrested John Carn III. He was hiding under a pickup truck with a Sawzall where he had been removing a catalytic converter.
“Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a concern and this case highlights how our officers’ quick response and then having immediate access to a drone greatly assisted in these arrests”, said Chief Terrence Green. “Law enforcement is rapidly changing with technology and tools evolving that assist our officers daily in making for a safer Town of Lexington.”
Tyler Childers has been charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, Breaking into a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Conspiracy, Attempted Breaking into a Motor Vehicle, and Injury to Real Property.
John Carn III has been charged with Possession of Stolen Nonferrous Metals, Criminal Conspiracy, Injury to Real Property, and two counts each of Breaking into a Motor Vehicle and Possession of Implements Used in a Crime.
Tyler Childers and John Carn III are at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting Bond Court.