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Johnston Police make arrests in Ford Dealership burglary

web posted June 12, 2008
Below: (L to R) Cedric Culbreath (file photo) and Mario Edwards
JOHNSTON – A plan conceived by Johnston Police Chief Chris Aston, the Sheriff’s Office, SLED, and with the participation by local media, paid off on Wednesday just after noon when a sting operation netted the arrest of Cedric Culbreath, 22, of Walker Street in Johnston for his participation in the burglary of Jim Satcher Ford early Tuesday morning. Johnston Police Chief Aston asked local media to put out a story claiming they had no leads in the case to help them set up the sting operation.

In reality, one of the surveillance cameras captured one of the men looking directly at the camera when they attempted to break into the Monk's BP store giving police an instant lead.

Though details of the sting operation itself are being withheld, Mr. Culbreath was to meet with an individual at the Dollar General Store on Lee Street. When Culbreath arrived he was arrested. With a search warrant in hand for Clubreath’s Walker Street home Johnston Police, Sheriff’s Deputies, and SLED agents began combing through the home where evidence relating to the burglary was discovered, Chief Aston said.

“We found evidence that may be connected to other crimes,” that have taken place recently in the area. “I can’t get into what we found,” Aston said, “due to the ongoing investigation.” Chief Aston did confirm that officers did find a gun during the search and it is being processed.

While at the Walker Street home a man exited a nearby home loading a handgun and when confronted by police ran inside the home and then escaped out the front door. Police cordoned off an area along Railroad Avenue and Aiken Avenue in an attempt to find the subject. The short-lived manhunt was called off after police obtained the man’s identity and did not have any charges to file in the unrelated case. “We’ve left word for him to contact us to talk about the situation,” Chief Aston said.

However, later in the day Johnston Police did capture who they claim was Mr. Culbreath’s accomplice in the burglary, 21 year-old Mario Peraz Edwards of Butler Street, Johnston. He was taken into custody around 6:30 pm after being spotted by citizens in Butler and Academy Streets area. He was taken to the Johnston Police Department and interviewed for well over an hour before being transported to the Edgefield County Detention Center.

Both men are being held on a single charge of burglary in the second degree. “We’re going to be filing additional charges once the investigation is complete,” Chief Aston said.

Chief Aston also wanted to thank local media outlets for their cooperation of concealing the leads in the case and making the suspects believe they had gotten away, which he said made the sting operation possible.


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