Ryan Scott Blount (left) and Travis Kyle Walls.
Beaufort County Sheriff's Office investigators have arrested two men in alleged connection with a recent rash of air-conditioning units stolen and scraped for copper.
Twenty-three year old Ryan Scott Blount of Port Royal and 28-year old Travis Kyle Walls of Beaufort were arrested yesterday afternoon during the course of a traffic stop conducted in the area of Hwy 21 and Parker Dr. The two men were identified as persons of interest when investigators tracked their multiple recent sales of copper at several local area scrap metal yards.
Last Friday, investigators were able to recover the remains of ten dismantled A/C units sold by Blount and Walls between scrap yards in Hardeeville and Burton. Two of the units were identified by serial numbers as stolen, one from a residence in Pleasant Point on Lady's Island and the other from a residence in Mink Point in Burton.
At the time of the traffic stop, the men were transporting six additional A/C units, which are believed to have been stolen out of Charleston County. More than two dozen A/C unit thefts have been reported in Northern Beaufort County over the last two months. These investigations remain active as the Sheriff's Office attempts to identify the units that have been recovered, as well as locate those still missing. Investigators will also collaborate with Charleston County authorities for possible thefts and metal sales occurring there.
Blount and Walls are currently facing charges of Receiving Stolen Goods and Transport of Stolen Non-Ferrous Metal without a Permit. Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues.
Citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity, such as persons seen tampering with and/or transporting A/C units. Anyone with information is asked to contact either SSgt. J. Fraser at 843-255-3416 or the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777.