BEAUFORT, S.C. (May 18, 2022) – A Beaufort County man whose face was captured by surveillance cameras as he tried to pry his way into an ATM machine has been sent to prison.
Thirty-eight-year-old George Holmes of St. Helena Island was convicted Wednesday of second-degree burglary and safecracking for attempting to breach a Navy Federal Credit Union machine on Lady’s Island in December 2018. Holmes was found guilty by a Beaufort County General Sessions Court jury, then sentenced to 15 years in prison, plus five years’ probation.
“Mr. Holmes has a long criminal history, but he’s hardly a criminal mastermind,” said Assistant Solicitor Jared Shedd, who prosecuted the case. “Not only was his attempt to steal unsuccessful, he left a trail of evidence that pointed in only one direction – directly at him.”
Assistant Solicitor Samantha Molina assisted Shedd with the prosecution.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2018, Beaufort County 911 received a call from Navy Federal’s security monitoring company, reporting an attempted robbery of a stand-alone kiosk on Sea Island Parkway. The monitors watched in real time and recorded on surveillance cameras as Holmes used a tire iron to pry open the door to the main structure, then attempted to break into the ATM’s casing.
Shortly after entering the structure, he looked squarely at a surveillance camera, then hid his face from view by ducking behind the machine. He then left exited the structure, but returned a few minutes later with what appeared to be a T-shirt over his face and his black hoodie sweatshirt turned inside out.
Unable to open the locked metal casing around the ATM, Holmes exited. Based on still photos taken from the surveillance video and a physical description provided by the monitoring company, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies using tracking dogs located and detained Holmes walking near the crime scene a short time later.
Holmes’ blood was found just below the exterior lock of the ATM, and his DNA also was recovered from the tire iron, which was left at the scene.
Shedd and Molina called eight witnesses during one day of testimony at the Beaufort County Courthouse.
Holmes’ criminal history includes convictions for second-degree burglary, grand larceny, indecent exposure, possession of cocaine and assaulting a corrections employee.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen gave Holmes to 20 years in prison for safecracking but suspended the sentence to 15 years, plus five years’ probation. He also gave Holmes 15 years for second-degree burglary, a violent offense. The sentences are to run concurrently.