Horry County, Briarcliffe Acres police find $1,500 in stolen food, perfume during traffic stop

troot@thesunnews.comApril 2, 2014 

Ernest James Vereen

More than $1,500 worth of frozen seafood, wine and perfume reported stolen from four area stores this week was recovered by police when they stopped a Conway man’s vehicle, according to authorities.

Kyle Lamparter, Briarcliffe Acres police chief, said the stolen merchandise was recovered during a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by 53-year-old Ernest James Vereen about 9:45 p.m. Monday.

Police also learned Vereen had two outstanding warrants for unrelated incidents in the area, Lamparter said.

Vereen was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 10:17 p.m. Monday on two counts of third or subsequent offense shoplifting, two counts of entering premises after warning or refusing to leave on request, third or subsequent offense shoplifting with a value between $1,000 to $5,000 and second-offense driving under suspension, according to jail records.

He remained jailed at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on $12,475 bond.

In reports filed by Horry County police, an officer on patrol saw someone run from the front door of Kroger at 9610 N. Kings Highway. He learned a shoplifting had occurred and got the description of the person and vehicle, a red Dodge Avenger.

The officer issued a “be on the lookout” for the suspect and vehicle and learned from Lamparter that the vehicle had also been at Wal-Mart on Kings Road, according to the report. Lamparter stopped the vehicle and the Horry County officer took the Kroger employee to the location and Vereen was identified as the suspect in the shoplifting.

Officers took Vereen into custody and saw the frozen seafood in the vehicle, according to the report. When officers questioned Vereen about the items in the report he admitted he had stolen items from Kroger, Wal-Mart, Piggly Wiggly and Lowes Foods.

Officers found $672 worth of seafood and wine stolen from Kroger; $104 worth of the same items stolen from Lowes Foods; $163 worth of various seafood stolen from Piggly Wiggly and $573 worth of perfume stolen from Wal-Mart, according to the report. The items were returned to the respective businesses.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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