Search continues for suspect in armed robbery, abduction at gated community Sun City

Crime & Safety

OKATIE, S.C. (WSAV) – Lowcountry authorities are investigating an armed robbery and abduction in Sun City Hilton Head, an age-restricted, gated community near Okatie.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) responded to the neighborhood Tuesday with deputies, investigators, K9 units and a helicopter searching for the suspect.

He’s believed to be a Hispanic male, between 50 and 60 years old, and was wearing dark clothing, a blue surgical-style face mask and a black knit cap.

“Looking for information from the public and looking for video that would have captured the subject earlier or after the incident. Or maybe he didn’t have his mask on but having his surgical mask, and knit cap and probably sunglasses takes a lot away from the identification,” explained BCSO Major Bob Bromage.

According to BCSO, a resident reported a man entered her home on Argent Way around 9 a.m. Tuesday armed with a handgun, demanding money.

When the woman told him she didn’t have any money in the house, he allegedly forced her to drive him in her car to a nearby bank to withdraw money.

BCSO said after taking money from the woman, the suspect demanded that she take him back to her home. He apparently ran from the home a short time after, heading toward the Lake Somerset Gate off of Highway 170.

The woman wasn’t injured during the incident, officials said. She met with forensic artists from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to prepare a composite sketch of the suspect.

Bromage said the victim did everything right in this case.

“The subject was armed,” the major added. “You didn’t know how far he would go and it is better not to try that situation. It’s better to comply and save your life.”

Bromage said vigilant neighbors can help stop crimes similar to this one.

“Situational awareness. Know your surroundings and know what is going on around your house and your car,” said Bromage. “If you see someone suspicious in your neighborhood, I have never seen this person before, it’s certainly worth investigating further meaning call security, call law enforcement. Let us investigate.”

BCSO hopes nearby security camera footage will help them find a suspect. The sheriff’s office does have a registry of security cameras in the county at to make it easier for investigators to know who to talk to and who might be able to help when a crime happens.

BCSO urges anyone with information on the suspect’s identity to call Sgt. Adam Paul at 843-255-3317.

Information can be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111 or through the P3 Tips app.

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