Two Teenagers Charged in Grocery Store Burglary

Lexington County, SC (WLTX) --- Two teenagers were charged as adults on Friday in connection to a burglary that occurred that morning at a grocery store.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts says that Johnathan William Hoskins, 16, and Robert Charles Whalen, 16, were detained as adults on warrants of second degree burglary, criminal conspiracy and possessing tools that are capable in being used in the commission of a crime.

Authorities brought Hoskins and Whalen to a pre-trial detention facility on Friday in Columbia, run by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Hoskins was released from the pre-trial detention facility on a $6,000 bond. Whalen was being held on Sunday, April 6 at the pre-trial detention facility on a bail of $6,000.

Authorities say at about 3:45 a.m. on Friday, Hoskins and Whalen cut open an air-conditioning vent on the roof at KJ's Market on St. Andrews Road, entering the store with the intent to steal items from the business. Hoskins and Whalen began collecting merchandise in a trash container when deputies detained Hoskins and later Whalen. Deputies responded after the store alarm was activated.

Hoskins and Whalen were wearing all-black clothing and ski masks or hoods in order to try to conceal their faces.

An arrest warrant says that deputies found that Hoskins and Whalen had one tool kit, one Black & Decker Fire Storm cordless drill and one knife that were used during the burglary. Deputies also found a hand-saw, a metal drill bit and materials that were used to make a hanging ladder out of PVC pipe on top of the roof at the grocery store. Deputies also found that a light fixture was been removed from the inside of the store and put on the roof to create a place to enter the interior of the store from the roof.

Metts asks anyone with information about additional criminal activity involving Hoskins or Whalen to contact the Lexington County Sheriff's Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.


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