of Public Safety

Orangeburg police have recovered a vehicle reported stolen out of Hardeeville. They’ve also charged a Newberry man accused of driving it, according to a police incident report.

Richard George Flake III, 33, of 162 Ebenezer Acres Road, Newberry, is facing charges of possession of a stolen vehicle valued at more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 and third or subsequent offense of driving under suspension for driving under the influence.

Authorities used GPS to track the vehicle to Amelia Street in Orangeburg at 8:21 a.m. Monday. An ODPS officer spotted the 2007 black Honda Civic and made a traffic stop on Broughton Street.

The driver told officers that he received the vehicle in Hardeeville from a co-worker he knows only as “Jacob,” the report said.

Flake claimed Jacob gave him permission to drive the vehicle to a job site in North Carolina. He said Jacob was going to drive a work truck to the site.

Flake said that he and Jacob stayed at the same hotel in Hardeeville the previous night. Flake told officers he left the Hardeeville hotel earlier than planned and decided to stop at a hotel off Interstate 26, where he slept in the vehicle.

When he woke up, he noticed the vehicle was low on gas.

He then decided he needed to pawn some of the equipment inside of it so he could purchase fuel, the report said.

A dispatcher with the Hardeeville Police Department told officers that someone named Jacob reported the vehicle was stolen. Jacob is the son of the vehicle’s owner.

Jacob reported that Flake attended a small Super Bowl party at a Hardeeville hotel as a guest of a friend, the report said.

Jacob told the dispatcher that he didn’t know Flake until the night of the party.

He left the key on the stand in the hotel room and discovered on Monday morning that the key and vehicle were missing, the report said.

Jacob last saw the vehicle around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, the report states.

A S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles database showed Flake had five driving under suspension offenses over the past five years as well as a DUS for driving under the influence, the report said.

If convicted of possession of a stolen vehicle valued more than $2,000 but less than $10,000, Flake faces up to five years in prison and a court-imposed fine.

His DUS charge carries a minimum sentence of a $1,000 fine and six months in prison, if he’s convicted.

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Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD


Staff Writer

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 16 years.

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