More stolen items linked to men arrested at Bluffton hotel

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More stolen items linked to men arrested at Bluffton hotel

By ALLISON STICE
astice@islandpacket.com
Published Tuesday, March 27, 2012   |  419 Words  |  

Two Tennessee men charged Saturday in a spree of thefts had taken guns from a Bluffton home and were caught on video using a stolen credit card, police say.

The Bluffton Police Department is adding charges against Anthony Wayne Sturm, 36, and Christopher Chad Sayne, 34, who were arrested by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on Saturday at the Suburban Lodge on Fording Island Road.

Bluffton police Lt. Joe Babkiewicz said some of the items recovered in the men's hotel room came from a car break-in and a burglary in Bluffton.

Reid Germain of Bluffton Park said he discovered Saturday night that his home had been broken in to earlier that day. Little did he know the arrests for the crime had already been made.

"The guns they had were mine," Germain said. "They pried open my back door and broke the jamb."

Investigators have matched the five stolen guns to serial numbers provided by Reid, but the weapons haven't been returned yet. Babkiewicz said police are still investigating. Police also say Sturm and Sayne are captured on surveillance video using a credit card stolen in a Bluffton car break-in.

Bluffton police are preparing to file charges for both crimes, Babkiewicz said.

The Sheriff's Office charged the men with three counts of breaking in to a motor vehicle after one of the victims saw a man drop an iPad in the hotel's parking lot. The iPad turned out to be one the victim had reported stolen earlier that day. Rather than confront the suspect, he handed the iPad back and called the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies got a warrant for the hotel room after they saw "dozens of cellphone chargers" from the door. The subsequent search yielded a trove of stolen goods, along with drugs and drug paraphernalia, according a Sheriff's Office news release.

Some of the items came from the men's home state, the release said. Sgt. Robin McIntosh said more charges may be filed after investigators finish combing through the items.

Agencies in other jurisdictions might also get involved, she added.

Both men are still in the Beaufort County Detention Center. Sayne's bond is $40,620, and Sturm's is $45,620.

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Sheriff: 2 men arrested after crime spree from Tennessee to Bluffton, March 26, 2012