Orangeburg County, SC (WLTX) - Orangeburg deputies say five people arrested Thursday in connection with a burglary in progress have burglarized several homes in the area, in one case shooting a homeowner's pet dog.

Sometime around noon Thursday, a burglary in progress was reported on Elder Branch Road, where a witness saw several males forcing their way into two nearby residences. "Deputies responded to this call so quickly that the suspects were not only still present but were forced to abandon their vehicle to flee,” said Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

Investigators say the suspects fled into a nearby wooded area near the intersection of Blewer and Elder Blanch Roads, where deputies set up a perimeter around the wooded area and later arrested five suspects.

Kelvon Jones, 17, Breon Glover, 21, both of Orangeburg, and Khakeem Grant, 17, of Cordova, and two juveniles were arrested after about an hour-long search.

The vehicle used in the burglary was seized for evidence collection and, according to investigators, several guns recovered were processed to determine if they came from other burglaries.

“We found evidence that linked these individuals to multiple break-ins in the Cope and Cordova area,” Sheriff Ravenell said. “These individuals were a danger to the community due to their targeting firearms in the burglaries. In fact, in one burglary, they even shot the home owner’s pet dog that was inside the home.”

Deputies say the five burglarized a series of homes in lower Orangeburg County over a two day period, beginning Wednesday when a Bonnette Road homeowner reported weapons and electronics being stolen, as well as having a pet Beagle shot. According to investigators, a Hudson Road resident also reported weapons taken on Thursday.

Ravenell said investigators have determined weapons, electronics, jewelry, money, and food items, including a homeowner’s cake, were stolen. Many of the stolen items are believed to have been recovered, such as firearms and electronics.

“I’m thankful for these officers who responded so quickly to a growing threat in the community,” the sheriff said. “I shudder to think if a child got in their way or an elderly person. They’ve already shown they shoot a pet for no reason at all," he continued. "These deputies are to be thanked to no end for stopping this before someone got hurt.”

Glover and Grant are both charged with four counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of criminal conspiracy, four counts of possession of a weapon during a crime, and one count each of malicious injury to real property and ill treatment of an animal.

Jones is facing one count each of first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, criminal conspiracy, possession of a weapon during a crime, malicious injury to real property and ill treatment of an animal.

Bond on the trio of older suspects was deferred to circuit court during a hearing on Friday.

The two 14-year-old juveniles, one from Orangeburg and one from Cordova, face the same charges as Grant and Glover and are currently being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice, where they will face a Family Court judge on Monday. Their names have not been released due to their age.

Investigators say more charges could be pending.