GPS in stolen four-wheeler leads to the arrest of six by Sumter deputies on chop shop, drug charges

The recovery of a stolen four-wheeler led to the revelation of a series of alleged crimes, ultimately resulting in six people being arrested by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on a vast array of charges, including drugs, stolen property and chop shop activities.

Like pulling the thread that unravels the entire sweater, the sequence of criminal revelations began early Monday morning, around 3:30 a.m., when deputies received reports that a four-wheeler, valued at $1,500, and a trailer, also valued at $1,500, had been stolen from their parked location near the corner of Pinewood Road and Cains Mill Road.  Unfortunately for the accused suspects, the owners of the equipment informed officers the all terrain vehicle was equipped with a GPS device, and that the device was not only operational, but that it had alerted them when the vehicle began to move.

Shortly after getting the coordinates from the GPS system, deputies made a visit to a residence in the 400 block of Rogers Avenue, some 6 miles away, where they found the trailer attached to a pick-up truck and the four-wheeler.

After knocking on the door to the residence, officers went inside, where they found the owner of the truck to which the stolen trailor was still attached, who told officers that another man, 19-year-old David Frazier of Summerton, seen lying on the couch inside the home, had just admitted to using the truck to steal the items.  Deputies say Frazier immediately confessed to officers that he and another man – 24-year-old Mason Donlan of Sumter – had committed the larceny. During a search of Frazier’s coat, officers also found what was believed to be drug paraphernalia.

The stolen property, as well as the truck used in the crime, were towed to the sheriff’s office’s impound area for processing.  The owner of the truck consented to allowing the truck to be searched, as well.

Now in custody and facing charges, Frazier was taken to the agency’s headquarters where, according to reports, he informed investigators how he, and two other Sumter County residents – David Pack and  Jessica Preusser –  had on at least one occasion stolen items and traded them for drugs with another Sumter resident, 31-year-old Craig Klavon.

Armed with this new information, deputies obtained a search warrant and, along with officers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, raided Klavon’s home on Gibbs Dairy Road. It was there that officers found a large cache of items believed to be stolen, including boats, motors and trailers, as well as several items believed to be used in illegal drug activity.  Most of these items, reports indicate, also had their serial numbers either removed or altered, triggering chop shop charges.

During the search, officers say they also found 25-year-old Dalzell woman Elizabeth Arielle Schmidtchen in possession of both marijuana and methamphetamines.

All six of the people implicated in the various charges were taken into custody by law enforcement.  The current charges from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office for this uncovered series of crimes are:

David Davonta Frazier, 19, of Summerton: Grand Larceny, value more than $2,000/less than $10,000

Mason Thomas Donlon, 24, of Sumter: Grand Larceny, value more than $2,000/less than $10,000

Craig William Klavon, 31, of Sumter: receiving stolen goods (two counts), receiving stolen goods valued at $10,000 or more (one count), operating a chop shop

Joseph Charles Pack, 34, of Sumter: larceny

Jessica Morgan Preusser, 32, of Sumter: larceny

Elizabeth Arielle Schmidtchen, 25, of Dalzell: possession of methamphetamine; possession of marijuana, 2nd offense

The investigation into these multiple alleged crimes continue, and more charges and/or arrests are possible.

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