BEAUFORT, SC (February 21, 2019) – A 22-year-old Port Royal man who was found hiding in the closet of the home he was burglarizing for the second time in 10 days is going to prison.
A jury found Ben Reed IV guilty Thursday in Beaufort County General Sessions Court on both counts against him. He received a 10-year sentence for the first break-in, which resulted in a second-degree burglary charge, and 17 years for the second incident, in which he was charged with first-degree burglary. The sentences will be served concurrently.
Jacob McFadden of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case.
In the first burglary, the victim and her daughter left their home at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2017. They returned at about 11:20 p.m. to find their back door open and their living room television sitting on the floor near the door. The window above the kitchen sink also was open. Several items were missing from the home, including two handguns, two video game consoles, two iPads, a laptop, a smart watch.
Reed, who does not know the home’s residents, left a fingerprint at the scene.
In a second burglary at about 1 a.m. Nov. 17, 2017, Beaufort Police were called during a break-in at the same location. Neighbors notified authorities after noticing a flashlight beam inside the residence. An intruder was seen closing the back door and retreating inside as law enforcement approached.
Beaufort Police officers called the resident to confirm no one was authorized to be in the home at that time. After receiving the call, she came home and used her key to let police inside. They found Reed hiding in a coat closet and captured footage of the arrest on their body cameras. No other suspects were located.
As Reed was being escorted out by officers, the victim noticed he was wearing a pair of Nike shoes stolen in the first burglary.
Reed’s criminal history includes convictions for simple possession of marijuana, shoplifting, possession of alcohol, possession of a stolen vehicle and receiving stolen goods.
Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Hood sentenced Reed to 10 years for the first robbery and 17 years for the second. The sentences will be served concurrently.