Pawn shop owner shoots at burglary, carjacking suspects

PICKENS — Pickens County officers are on the lookout for a pair of suspects they believe carjacked a vehicle near Furman University and later rammed the vehicle through the door of a pawn shop on S.C. 8 between Pickens and Easley.
According to Pickens County deputies, officers were dispatched to Pace’s Pawn on Friday at 9:25 p.m. after a car backed through the front doors of the business in an apparent attempted burglary.
The store owner, who was inside the closed business at the time, said he saw a dark-colored small vehicle back up to the doors, rev its engine and smashed through the glass doors, collapsing the metal door frame, according to the police report. The owner then said a subject wearing a black hoodie or mask got out of the car’s passenger side and enter the store.
The shop’s owner said he then fired approximately five shots from a .44 special handgun toward the intruder and the vehicle, which he believed he hit with some of the rounds. The suspect then re-entered the vehicle, which left the scene heading towards Easley.
An eyewitness who was driving on S.C. 8 towards Easley said he turned his vehicle around after he saw the car back into the storefront, believing the driver was “up to no good.” As the car fled, the witness followed, giving the license plate number to police dispatchers. According to the report, the witness continued on S.C. 8 after the vehicle turned into the Rutledge St. subdivision.
Upon arrival at the scene, officers immediately continued toward Easley, attempting to find the vehicle. Officers searched the Rutledge St. subdivision and alerted surrounding agencies to be on the lookout for the car, but had no success.
Officers then returned to scene to take statements from the shop owner and witnesses.
When the tag number was reported, deputies were informed that the vehicle was believed to be one that was carjacked earlier in the evening from a woman in Greenville County.
According to officials, the car was stolen from the woman in her driveway on Watkins Bridge Road near Furman University by two men at gunpoint around 7:35 p.m.
Authorities say the woman’s two children were in the vehicle when the carjacking occurred, but were released and were unhurt.
The car stolen was a 2007 Toyota Camry, grey in color with South Carolina license plate CXF 527.
While still on scene at the pawn shop, radio traffic indicated that the vehicle was possibly involved in an attempted carjacking at the Austin Woods Apartment Complex in Easley, according to the police report.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the Camry, which is likely to have significant rear-end damage. If you have any information, please contact the the PCSO at 898-5500.