Speeding ticket lands burglary suspect in jail

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


YORK COUNTY, S.C. - A speeding ticket has landed a  burglary suspect in jail in York County after deputies said he terrorized a neighborhood there last week.

Vernon Clinding, 22, of Salisbury is charged with multiple break-ins after troopers stopped him for speeding in Anderson County, S.C.

Last Monday, four homeowners on Lincoln and Branch roads told 911 that someone had kicked in their front doors and made off with money, jewelry and electronics.

Elaine Woods was home on Lincoln Road when they burst through the front door.

"I ran and hid in the bedroom, and locked my door," she said. Terrified, she stayed there until they were gone, and then had to flag down a deputy outside in the road, because they took her cellphone, too.

The week was a nightmare for her after that.

"I was unable to go out. I had to stay in my house. Barred in my house. I'm sick of it," she said.

The damaged door still sits on their front porch, cracked down one side. Her husband, Harold, has been afraid they'd come back.

"I was scared they'd hurt me, or hurt my wife. Things I can replace, but I can't replace my wife," he said.

Around the corner on Branch Road, Danny Pate wasn't home when his house was hit. His TV and a video game set were taken, along with his family's sense of security.

"My daughters, they sleep with the lights on now. They're scared to be here," he said.

Deputies said Clinding used Woods' bank card at an ATM in charlotte, and his picture was taken by a surveillance camera.

Woods said the suspect withdrew $400, but the bank has since restored the stolen money.

Once Clinding was identified at the ATM, he was put into NCIC. 

A few days later a state trooper stopped him for speeding and made the arrest.

All the victims tell Channel Nine they believe there were several burglars, possibly as many as four. Sheriff's deputies won't confirm that number, but they are looking for more people who could be involved.